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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday Words - Ziglar

It is hard to wrap my brain around the fact that we are closing out another year of our lives. I'm so glad we have made the conscious choice to be living life as fully as we can. I'm thankful for this opportunity. I look back at this year and all that has changed in our much was sad. So much is still sad, loss of life, loss of limb, continued loss of relationships...that about sums up life in part for this past year. Impacting for sure.

I think I will just go ahead and jump right on over to the we "still have so much to be thankful for" category. While not all can or will be named in this arena (nor remembered) we do know we are blessed. We also have heart aches. But we are so blessed. In fact, we really take many of our blessings for granted. That's kind of sad.

For the upcoming year I want to try to live an even more purposeful life, to live with a more genuine attitude of gratitude. To let go of the critical, cynical thoughts, the judgements; not gonna be easy but worth striving for.

A quote that comes to mind is from a man I actually have heard speak in person. It was years ago and he left a lasting impression as I have continued to follow him and enjoy reading his words. He is inspirational to many, including me and these words do just that...

Life is short, live it.
Love is rare, grab it.
Anger is bad, dump it.
Fear is awful, face it.
Memories are sweet, cherish it.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's the life...

 In less than 24 hours we went from shorts to scarves...
Hot or cold, rain or shine this is the life we lead...and we know of late it's been more cold than hot and certainly more rain (fog and wind) than shine. Of course, no doubt about it life is certainly still very doable albeit more so when you have electricity but since we presently do not we pray that we pull at least enough amps from the solar to not have to run the generator. If we don't, we go ahead and fire up the genny to get us through. Boondocking is definitely not as pleasant when the sun is not shining.  It also means we are more confined inside.
We are almost out of reading material and have played lots of cards as of late.
To say we are ready to have the sunshine again is an understatement...however, it's a fine line as we don't enjoy hot, hot, hot when we are out as running the a/c is too hard on the rig when just running off solar and supplementing with the genny. We are now considering moving further south as more cool weather is predicted, can you saw we already saw a low of 41* and there is a potential for 39*. Yep, farther south is looking like our new plan. We had thought we could circulate in this area and manage to make it through our time here; however, we have now started looking into more southern options. Updates have been tough with internet connection being slim to none and cell signal is even marginal. I haven't really minded except for keeping up with family and their crummy weather as well as their overall well being. It's made it a challenge. 
Today brought us to the nearest car wash since ROADA was dirty, grimy, slimy and salty after the last week at the shore and especially the last few days of  wind, sea mist and rain.. She's clean again and looks mighty perty. Just two more days on the beach and then we are on the move again...stay tuned to see where we end up.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ahhhh....HOT showers!

While boondocking (no hookups) we are thrilled when there is running water...we are over the moon when there are showers. When checking out our spot for the past several days it listed showers, BONUS!!!! However, upon our arrival we learned they are sans warm/hot water. UGH!!! A cold shower is NOT for me. I am thrilled that we now carry a solar shower in our rig. Even when there are not shower houses you can still hang it out in the sun and have bathing water. We have been able to wash our hair with it as well as used it to do a really nice sponge bath. It's been a wonderful add.

Since they have individual shower rooms here for their cold showers (how thoughtful) we took our solar shower and hung it in the shower room and had amazing hot showers anytime we wanted. That my friends is a fine, wonderful thing that we love. The added bonus was that the restrooms also had hot water available (NOT always the case) so if we did not get enough solar to heat our water we could still fill the solar shower bag and take our showers. WOOHOO! It is the little things.



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday Words - Unknown

When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence.

Christmas is right upon on...very insightful thought. Our table need not be a physical one, there are needs, genuine needs, all around us. It's a great time to really bless someone else, especially, if you know you are in the situation where you might be tempted to build higher fences rather than build a longer table...

I have always been a fan of living below your means, it's just a way of making sure you have extra income freed up should a situation present itself and you want to help or get involved. If you are making a decent wage and you are so stretched that you find it hard to pay your bills or you lay awake at night worrying about financial obligations than perhaps it's time to re-evaluate your budget. Make changes to remedy this situation, I would almost bet you will not ever regret it. 

And don't forget that if your are on a tight budget giving of your time and talents can also be a table extender. We have found that in our season of early retirement this is a way for us to bless others, too.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Another RV year in review

It's been three, yes, THREE years since we started living in an RV.

I am shocked at the amount of time that has already passed. On one hand it feels like just the other day and then mostly it seems soooooo long much has transpired in our comfortable little world, which while that means a lot to us in the big scheme of things it's nothing.

We have had marriage, death and taxes, seriously, we have but we have had so much more...real life has happened. We have been sad, mad, glad. We have lost friends literally and figuratively. We have lost family in the same manner. It sucks, we have also gained family and that's awesome. I'm sure the loss/gain will continue, after all that is how it works. Sometimes though it seems wrong and unfair.

RV living for us is just living. We are living in much the same manner as everyone else, just without the same constraints of owning a home and being stationery. We are not on an endless vacation so to speak, we do not eat out every meal, we do not stop at every touristy attraction. We could not manage this lifestyle if we were living the vacation lifestyle. Instead, we pick and choose experiences that are enriching or intriguing and affordable to us. We choose to go without amenities to have experiences. Some of the best locations just do not have "full hook ups" which means electric, water and sewer and we are okay with least for a few days so we can experience being right next to the ocean or on the mountain. Not to say I don't have preferences; I do and so does MiRV. I prefer to have flush toilets and running water. He is good with a great ocean view. We also try to be good citizens and spend some time volunteering. Sometimes it is official and other times we just do it. It's a good way of life, we know it will not always be this way so we are trying to savor it.

Looking back at our three years we have logged approximately 40,000 miles, popped in and out of approximately 30 states and visited a bunch of state and national parks. Paid no speeding nor parking tickets; decided Chicago and Boston are one time destinations that if you have the chance to experience you should and yet we would probably not choose to return. However, we would probably jump at the chance to return to Bar Harbor, ME or the North Carolina coast as well as most anywhere in Western Montana. Stopping to see friends along the way has been a huge bonus for us, reconnecting is always amazing; it's definitely been the highlight of many of our stops.

Since we "rightsized" from Sunny, our 31.5 foot class A to Roada, our 22 foot class B we have learned we can do with so much less stuff. And I do mean stuff, we have also realized there are some things we really the paddleboard (and for MiRV the surfboard)  but there bright side is there are usually rental options. Maybe we will come up with a way to add a board of some sort in the next year. We have enjoyed the fact that Roada is so much more maneuverable for us to get in and out and yet there have still been some areas we could not take her. While in Glacier NP we were not allowed on the "going to the sun" road nor were we able to travel on some of the pullouts in Yellowstone NP.

We are not naive enough to think this will last forever and actually we have started looking at options...only time will tell what transpires. It's gotta work for us, we are not run of the mill, average Joes; never have been, doubt we will ever be. When the time comes we hope we will know it and we would hope that we continue to experience life to the fullest. MiRV still continues to be aware and look for opportunities that he feels would be a good fit for him as far as employment but we are not rushing for another rat race position. Thankfully, that is a bonus that we do not have to find employment, we know we are blessed.

So happy three, yes, three years of RV living to us!


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Save the Starfish

Honestly, I don't know if we are "saving" starfish or not but we are giving it a good effort.
We have flung 17 starfish back into the water since our arrival just over 24 hours ago. It feels like the right thing to do, especially if you've ever read that story about the little boy who flings them. I mean how could you not after that. We all want to make a difference to someone. If you are unfamiliar with the story google it you will get a warm fuzzy reading it!
Meanwhile we will just be hanging out at Padre Island National Seashore flinging the starfish we are along the beach and taking in the best beach sunrises right from the comfort of our own bed!



Thursday, December 17, 2015

On the move...

We have been in the Corpus Christi area a few days and will be heading further south tomorrow. We have had quite the weather spectrum with wind, rain, wind, sun, wind well you get the idea. Heading out to the Padre Island National Seashore where you won't believe what they say to be prepared for...yep, BINGO, wind. I can't wait! Seriously, it's supposed to be gorgeous so a little wind will be endured.

 Pretty nice spot while at CC NAS

CC was uneventful as we did not really get out much, just enjoyed some downtime, got laundry done, you know, those mundane things. We did do lunch out at BJs with unlimited soup/salad one day and that was super good. Their tomato mozzarella salad is THE best, their wedge is good but the tomato mozz is delicious. Reminded us of Italy. 

Cell, internet is reported to be non existent so there will be no updates until we return to civilization. It may require bike rides to the end of the road and standing on one leg to get a little signal while there but probably that won't even do it. So Ciao for now.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Showering with Frogs

I've floated with manatees, watched the Daughter swim with dolphins but I've never showered with frogs...

There are cute little green frogs in the shower house. The four in the women's bathhouse stayed high up on the wall in the corner. MiRV reports he had one come out from under the soap holder that scared him just a bit. I can no longer say I have never showered with frog...cause now I have.

Just another one of those Living the Dream experiences! Of course when I went back with my phone to take their picture they were no longer a foursome!


Friday, December 11, 2015


Today we went exploring, looking for surf and to get a better feel for the area. In addition, we are told, many come here to winter; so we wanted to scope it out a bit more to see if we will stay around this area. Hmmmm, I'm just not sure it's for us. It's pretty breezy and humid. Did I mention I'm not a big fan of wind OR humidity? Yeah, well, I'm not. MiRV tells me a little 17 hour drive to the west could solve the humidity issues but he's not positive on the wind part. So I think not, we will keep scouting around and see what we can live with. We do think we would enjoy finding a "spot" to be at least through the new year. Still just not feeling it here...

In other news, Roada took her first ferry ride today! I know, wowsa! She did awesome! It was just a short jaunt; she was a champ, rolled right into her appointed slot, then just took in the view. Before she knew it we were being motioned off and on our way.

We checked out Mustang Island. Nope didn't see any mustangs. The drive was quite scenic and we had a lovely picnic right in Rockport near the beach on our way down. We even bathed Roada on the way back. This salt air makes her look a bit dull and definitely isn't good for her.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Texas Lighthouse

We stopped at Port Lavaca to see the Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse! Small but mighty!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Missouri Connections

I always love to see things that are from "my state" and this trip has provided a few of those...there was the Missouri Street sign that I barely snapped a picture of before we rode right on by.

And yesterday we met some home folk!!! Really, you do meet all kinds of folks, from all over and while we were checking out the Matagorda Bay Nature Center yesterday a couple overheard us say we were from Missouri so they came over and struck up a conversation. Turns out they are from just up the road...Harrisonville, and to rope it off we know people in common! Pretty neat!

Then today we were checking out a historical marker and lo and behold the man it honored was a Missourian! How cool is that? I just enjoy those little reminders of my home state roots! Today we pop off the coast to go inland. It's just for the night before heading back to the coast tomorrow. Goose Island State Park here we come! And I'm NOT excited to learn there is potential for severe weather over the weekend...I am NOT a fan of severe weather, it makes me anxious, VERY anxious. Ughhh...


Wednesday Words - myNiece

Choose to forgive, find, see, and remember the good, not bad in others. We are only perfect in our imperfections...from my niece's Facebook page.

Powerful words from the from one who calls me aunt.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Black Squirrels, Dolphins, Caracara's oh my!

We have been so blessed with what our eyes are able to see. Often times we do not have the real camera and our phones just can't quite capture it so it's just for our eyes only! It is a feast to see! Some of these amazing animals are just incredible and a real treat that you just cannot imagine nor often explain to others.

In the past few weeks we have seen the rare pink spoonbill (roseate spoonbill), the caracara and black squirrels. Really cool. Of course I always enjoy the dolphins and since we have been back near the coast we have seen them three times already. Seeing them on the Lower Colorado headwaters the other day they were the most active I've ever seen and the most in number it was awesome. The birds are neat to see as well but we are not really birders in the real since of the word. Usually we don't know what we saw til after we tell someone or someone tells us and we realize, oh we saw those or oh that's what we saw! Still, lots of fun seeing!

Wish I had pictures to share, but I do not...


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Galveston, oh Galveston!

It's definitely NOT Florida...we are still finding our winter Texan legs. It's different in so many ways than what we have done. We are not just staying in one spot, we are progressing. We have made it to Galveston Island. Since we've been in this area before it's nice to be in familier territory. There have been a few cooler days and a couple more to come so we are snuggled in at the state park with electricity for a few days. We enjoyed slow rolling down through the countryside and are happy to see water again.

Internet is scarce, not readily available and keeping the blog updated via my phone while sounds easy is not (for me at least). But I am going to try to do better!


Wednesday Words - Unknown

Don't play the victim to circumstances you created.

Causes ya to think... this rings true to me especially as I think of some of my former P&P clients when I worked for the OKDOC. I think it also holds water with regular folks, too, especially those with thin skin. As I used to tell one of our commander's wife's, some days  you just have to bathe yourself in teflon and move forward.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Words - Cahill

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. 
Tim Cahill

One of our joys is seeing friends along the way. Always nice to see family, too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Operation Winter Texan has commenced. We have spent the past two winters in Florida. This year we are giving Texas a try. We had hoped to make a little stop off in Hot Springs, AR on our way to Texas but cooler temps forced us farther south sooner rather then later. We did our first night in Texarkana, TX at the Red River Army Depot on the shores of Lake Elliott; nice campground and had the weather not been going into the freezing temps we would have stayed there through Thanksgiving. However, we ended up in the Sabine National Forest and that's where we will be on Thanksgiving.

Today we trekked into Center, TX picking up last minute  provisions and getting our 1/2 price Sonic cheeseburger fix :) AT&T coverage is non-existent in the forest for data but at least our phones/texting work. We are enjoying the natural beauty of the area and the big pine trees. Have done a bit of exploring and plan to hike to the nearby waterfall tomorrow. Happy early Thanksgiving, pray that you enjoy the blessings in your world and realize that you are truly very blessed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Breakfast Burritos

We have spent the last few days preparing to go back on the road. Last minute chores, errands, tidying up, storing away. We are ready, I think.

Some time ago MiRV decided he wanted to make up breakfast burritos and freeze them; we had just never got around to doing it. Today that changed! We now have 20 burritos nicely tucked away in the freezer. He is the egg man among other things in our family, so naturally he made the eggs, I browned the sausage and sauteed the onions. Then he assembled them with a little shredded colby jack cheese and popped them into re-closable bags.

Assembling the burritos

As we travel in Roada it's always a challenge when it comes to cooking. I miss my crockpot for sure. Having only two burners is its own issue but I make it happen! We eat pretty darn good; as evidenced by our tighter jeans :(. So, I do enjoy getting to work in a larger space for preparing meals. I am not a fancy, gourmet cook. I can and do put a solid meal on the table. We do not eat out all that often as we like to use our limited funds on other ventures. So one of the ways we stretch our finances is eating in. Of course, that changes when we meet up with friends and family along the way, then eating out is a special treat. Otherwise, you will find me coming up with yumminess right here within Roada or out on the the grill! It's a good life.

Tonight was dinner with the Littles...their momma is such a good cook! We are going to miss our neighbors. They are so good to us; they let us park Roada right next door for however long we want. It's hard to leave them and the rest of our family but we know, Lord willing, we will be back. Tomorrow we hit the road...heading south.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The New Sink Cover

In September I blogged about a freak little accident with our sink cover and thankfully the company that made it sent a no cost replacement. We had the new one installed on our last visit to the dealer for other warranty work last month. However, since the whole incident happened we have tossing around several replacement ideas.

This past week we made progress on replacement prototype II. We found a somewhat suitable cutting board at none other then Target. It's a bit thicker then we would like but the price was right so we bought it and moved forward. Picked up a piece of poster board for the template and went to work. Let the cutting begin...

 Made two straight cuts on the table saw. Looks pretty good!

 Used the band saw for the rounded edges.

 The file and sand paper were key to smoothing the edges.

 Drill press made making the holes pretty easy.

 License plate screws were used to re-attach; the originals were no longer long enough since the cutting board is thicker than the glass.

 All done...the glass will be stored away and we will see how this works for us.

We think it will work just fine and it looks great! There is a prototype I still in process and will possibly be finished at a later date as an alternative. It's made from glued birch wood slates. It will still need to be cut, sanded, stained, sealed should we decide to continue. Pretty much gonna wait and see how we like this and go from there. If we decide we like it enough we may change out the one that covers the cook top too!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Happy Birthday!!!

It wasn't a big fancy celebration but it was filled with love...she turned 30. Doesn't seem possible that it was just a few years ago as a young wife waiting to join MiRV in a far, far away land that I was able to be the childcare giver for about three months. We had a grand time together.

Who would think that all these years later she would have the Littles? We are blessed. And those blessings did not come easily as she chose a nontraditional route we are still thankful she didn't make other choices. She works hard and is a great momma to the Littles and we think she's doing all right in life.So keep on keeping on.
Yummy food, angel food cake, surrounded by family; life is good! It's truly the little things, family dinners, unconditional love that make life good.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

What a wonderful week!

We took off to the North this week. We will soon be heading south and we wanted to see the daughter again before we trek south so we made a week of it. There were some moments of uncontrolled laughter, ping pong, BBQ, shopping, TV, quick Lincoln road trip, updating data, scrapbook editing and so much more that I can't remember. It was a very good week.
 And we might have gotten passed by the Trooper on duty on our way home from Lincoln! At least he waved as he went by!

 Ping Pong

 Lunches out! The Trooper even invited us to join him one day.
Honestly, just an immensely enjoyable week of togetherness...and now we are watching weather closely; ready to head south as the weather turns too cold. We had hoped to be able to stay through Thanksgiving but at this point it's not looking possible. No matter, we have been enjoying the time we have had and will be trying to wrap up the chores we want/need to accomplish and get positioned to migrate to the warmth and water in the next few days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Words - Tew

Every time you get upset at somethng, ask yourself if you were to die tomorrow, was it worth wasting your time being angry?

Robert Tew


Monday, November 9, 2015


We were so blessed this weekend to have been able to re-connect with one of our high school classmates. She is joyfully serving Jesus with her talents alongside her husband. You might consider it a random coincidence that we were in our hometown and she and her husband were also here to perform for a local church anniversary celebration but I do not. It was a God thing.

I knew she was talented, I remember that from back in the day, but seeing her sing for Jesus, well that was a beautiful sight and sound. Maybe some of it had to do with the selection of songs, mostly hymns, which I dearly love, you know, the old ones, like I'll Fly Away and Washed in the Blood. It was incredible. I can't wait to listen to my CD!

She is an inspiration and she certainly encouraged me!


Sunday, November 8, 2015

This week!

This week was much like the last few. We did lots of little things and feel like much was accomplished even though we didn't do anything big...there are fences that have been mended, extra fence post have been stacked, hay has been moved, equipment was relocated, Littles pick up happened, more brush hogging was done, fence rows were cleaned, trees were trimmed, paths were cleared, a sheet was sewn, tools were organized, labels were made, birthdays were celebrated, gates were adjusted, sunsets savored, phone calls were made, road trips were taken, bookkeeping was done, barn walls were reinforced, wood was chopped, split and stacked, the tractor was stuck, (not once but twice), and last but not least there was more welding. And honestly, I may have forgetten a few things, but suffice to say it's been a productive week.

Setting out hay.
Birthdays :)

Sheet sewing

 Gorgeous sunset

 Stuck tractor times two on two; different days at least :)


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Words from ME

The B - I - G five zero, yep that's me, today and I am thrilled to have made it this far in life! Who knew? I mean it sounds like a long time off til you turn 50 but then, BAM; it just happens that it's right there in front of you. I am 50 today and feeling fabulous about it.

I have had such a blessed life and cannot wait to see what the next 50 years hold. Of course that is Lord willing, I often wonder will He return before then? One never knows and therefore we should be ready. I am. Even though I am enjoying the life I live here; I am ready to also go on to my eternal home whenever that may be.

While I will readily admit I am not the best Christ follower. In fact most of the time I stink at it. I judge, I am critical but in my heart I do strive to be more like Him. However, I fail, repeatedly, like daily, multiple times, sometimes over and over; however, I can thankfully, rest in the assurance that He loves me unconditionally. He died for ME, he saved ME and will never leave ME. I have eternal life. It's the absolute greatest gift.

And honestly, I struggle. I am not the "perfect" person that some may see looking from the outside in. That is such a farce to believe that about me or anyone, NO ONE is perfect, except  Christ. We all are pitiful puddles of sin no matter what you tel yourself and no matter if that sin is visible or not. You kid yourself if you think otherwise. God knows our heart, our mind, our soul. You cannot hide anything from him, He sees it all. So what I know and know for sure is that Jesus LOVES me, just like the song says, "Jesus loves me this I know"

Happy birthday to me! I do hope I snag a slice of cheesecake today or some other yumminess to celebrate this milestone!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oh what a week....

It was a memorable week, just what we enjoy, lots of family time.

Several round the table gatherings, visiting, baseball watching (GO RO-YALS), Anti-Van Follies, White Grill trips, more shooting, a little four wheeling, game playing and just generally taking in time together...exactly how you envision it should be with family.

Practice spelling test time

 And of course it was cheer, football and homework with the Littles. They are very taken with the Trooper and no one else exist when he is's very enjoyable to watch.

Hut, hut!

We had a couple dreary rainy days so as soon as we saw the sun again we bundled up and headed outside. It was a great day for walking deep in the woods. There was also more shooting done, guys and their guns...oh my! Loved all the fresh air!

We took in a football game Saturday and got to see our favorite #61 in action! It was perfect football weather, especially since we stopped at Starbuck's on the way!

That's our Little playing center.

And then they were heading more White Grill stop before they hit the road! Hopefully, we will run up to see them again one more time if the weather continues to hold before we trek south.