Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Blog Alert!

Just as I promised, the new blog documenting our venture into the world of noamdic living in a RV is HERE!

http://breakingupwithnormalrv.blogspot.com/

If you intend to follow us on the road, that is the blog to follow. I'll still have this blog for more personal writing and of course you are welcome to continue reading here as well. I'm really excited about the new blog though and really hope you all will follow that.   :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stay Tuned....

Hello my tiny tunas! We are at seven weeks and counting to departure date. Am currently working on setting up a brand new blog that my partner and I will share to record our adventures on the road. I will keep this blog for non-travel related writing (yeah right, huh?).

Very excited, very nervous, very stressed out but maintaining our sense of humor. Can't expect too much more than that. Been scurrying around trying to get the stuff done to the RV that absolutely must be done before taking off. Doing well on selling off our stuff that we won't be taking with us. In fact we are now a one car family! Sold my car already. Sad face.  :(  We plan to sell Karin's car as well before we leave. Will be looking for a car that we can tow flat rather than on a dolly. If we can't get that accomplished before leaving, we will just go car-less till we get to Florida. In a way would make more sense since we will have to switch plates to Florida anyway.

We are both having a lot of mixed emotions about leaving which is perfectly natural I imagine. We love Tucson so much and our very good friends here. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we aren't leaving forever; we can come back whenever we choose. But this is just an amazing opportunity that we have been working towards for over two years. And we would kick ourselves if we didn't go for it. I'm very proud of us for our commitment to this even though it's not been an easy thing to pull off and is very much outside of our comfort zone to do. We have chosen to take life by the horns and make it what we want.  :)

Should have a link to the new blog up soon; so stay tuned!!!




Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh Serendipity....

So check out this screen shot from my facebook news feed this morning. Anything look familiar??? Like possibly the text right above the picture? Eerily reminiscent of the title of my blog perhaps? Hmmmm...



It kind of freaked me out a little. In a very good way though. I started this blog back in May of 2008. So over four years ago is when I came up with the title. And believe it or not, I'm not accusing GoRVing of stealing anything. Because more than likely we found inspiration from the same source. Or hey it could have been them that came up with it years ago!

Almost nine years ago I was getting counseling while going through a divorce. Part of that included a womens' group meeting where we did various activities, one of which was to go through old magazines and cut out pictures or words that showed what we wanted our future lives to look like and make a collage out of them. One of the things that caught my eye was an advertisement for an RVing organization. The picture was taken inside a motor home but looking out the big picture window onto a to-die-for gorgeous setting. The tagline was "Goosebumps, tingly sensations and butterflies....". Yep. That was exactly how I wanted my future life to feel like! And in strange but true fashion, not only is that feeling what I'm trying to capture, but the RV lifestyle has become our means to that end, though that vision didn't enter our heads until just two years ago. Perfection, huh? 

And just to reinforce how much this sentiment meant to me, I also had it tattooed on  my body about seven years ago. I'm telling ya....you put it out there enough and the universe WILL conspire to make it happen! It's not precisely how I saw it all those years ago but it has taken shape in ways I would not have even have dreamed of on my own. I like that. A lot.   :)   Take a gander at my tattoo.


I'm a believer folks. Your life unfolds as it should when you follow your heart.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's Good To Be Me

I'm feeling very thankful today. I'm sorry in a way that it is someone else's suffering that has put me in a position to feel so darned happy about my own circumstances. But this is how we often see clearly just how good we have it, is it not? It's good to have our eyes opened to the truth. But to be honest it would be even better to see it clearly WITHOUT needing to compare our blessings to someone else's troubles. The truth is that I should be taking the time to thank the gods, the universe, whoever for all that is good in my life on a daily basis.

It's amazing how when you don't take the time to think about the good, all you manage to see is the bad. And then you get drug down into a pit of misery and fear. And that stuff is magnified way out of proportion in you head, just like with a fun house mirror. All because you forgot to see the really good stuff going on. 

I used to belong to a website that allowed you to share your blessings with others on the site. Or you could keep it private if you wished. You could even have the site share with facebook. The point was to make a habit of expressing gratitude. Somewhere along the line the website quit working right. I think it is now defunct. Sad face.   :(

But do I really need a website to help me with that? Am I not capable myself of just putting it out there? I can do it. I need to do it. Today in my journal I wrote in length about how thankful I am for so many things in my life. That's a start. I think it's good to let it be known out loud too. I believe words are powerful. And I believe in living by example. So here I am world, grateful as all get-out to be alive, healthy, in a solid loving relationship, working towards a dream and enjoying(mostly) the process with my sense of humor still intact.    :)



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is It Fall Yet????

It's officially summer! Which means it has FELT like summer for over a month now here in Tucson. It's getting serious now with highs well over a hundred. I do okay in the heat for the most part. But I won't lie. I'm not sad about this being our last Tucson summer. Okay maybe a little cause the monsoons really are very awesome! But when the AC in your car is kaput (and you refuse to spend the money to fix it because you need that money to put into the RV you just bought), and you have so much you want to do to/with the RV but the heat is making all that most unpleasant....well....I'm just kind of over it.

We're even dragging our heels on getting the work done on the RV. We went out and bought quite a bit of the stuff our mechanic needs for the RV. But with the heat and the difficulty of finding a shady spot for him to do the work we may just put it off. It's not like we really care to camp locally in this weather. And until the work is done we won't take it too far. So.....time to just kick back in the pool I think.

We have secured a camping spot for our very first destination once we go full time. We plan to spend two months close to Karin's parents who winter in Brooksville, Florida. We will head out of here a week or so into December. While down there we intend to utilize her parents DIY skills to help us update the RV'S interior. Main projects will be new flooring, new window coverings, painting the walls, painting all that brass hardware, covering the upholstery and fixing all the broken trim. I'm excited about the renovations. Waaaay more fun than the mechanical stuff.   :)

We've both had the goal of working on feeling healthier and losing weight before taking off. And so far our efforts have been productive. I've had to spend time with needle and thread taking in the waistbands on our clothes. Very happy about that. And we are both experiencing a better sense of well being. An extra benefit to our new way of eating is that we have much less need for pantry space. This will come in really handy in the RV! Though I am sorta concerned about the fridge/freezer space. Guess we will be shopping frequently, in smaller amounts for all that produce.

Other than that all is humming along nicely. I'm enjoying the remaining time I have with my clients. I will miss some of them a lot! And don't even get me going on our friends here. Must remind myself we will be back to Tucson for an extended stay yearly...this is home to us. It's not going to be goodbye....just see you later!    :)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Dream Begins To Take Real Form...

It's a really good thing we took that driving class last week. Cause guess what??? We bought our very first RV today!!!!!!!!!!! I know, that was a whole lot of exclamation points there .But after almost two years of dreaming, planning and pleading with the universe, we are finally feeling that this most definitely will be happening. So yeah, bring on the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What we got: a 34 ft 1994 Fleetwood Bounder. She has typical 1990's decor but it's in good condition so we will forgive her for being dated. The exterior is fading but is not bashed in anywhere. The mechanics appear to be functioning very well. When the owner powered her up I didn't even realize he'd done that. It was that quiet. And the generator was surprisingly quiet as well. From what we can tell she's been very well taken care of and came with a very well organized binder of manuals and records.

This model has no slides but is overflowing with storage. We are positively giddy! And it has the biggest shower/tub that we've ever seen in an RV. And we've looked at so many of them. Seriously. Some of the showers we've seen have made me want to cry at how tiny they are. And the same for the toilet rooms. While it's true we are both losing weight, I don't think we're going to be svelte anytime soon. So that extra space is going to be quite the luxury.

We plan to take her out next week for an overnighter to a local state park so we can get properly acquainted with her. And from there we will probably take her out for short trips through the week as often as we can so that by the time we're ready to go full-time (December) we'll be pretty comfortable and not acting all newbie stupid.   :)

Eventually we will do some interior updating; replace the flooring with wood laminate, paint over fugly wallpaper, put up new window coverings, swap out the brass everywhere with something more to our liking and cover up that upholstery. But for right now she is perfectly livable. There is some plastic trim throughout that is cracked and coming off. That we will deal with sooner than later. It's the biggest eyesore in the rig but looks like an easy fix.   :)   We'll have a lot of fun making it our own. We've always loved nesting!

Since pictures say a thousand words, I'll quit writing now and get on to the picture show!

















In the picture with the bed you can see the trim on the nightstands that is all broken. There is more of that trim throughout that is the same way. Fixing that up will be our first task. Fun!  

We're pretty stoked to just be able to say that we're RV owners and will (soon) be hitting the road as full-timers. Nothing like watching a crazy plan you hatched come to life.    :)





































Saturday, May 12, 2012

Drivers Ed

Prep work for our full-time RVing goal continues. Yesterday we went to Lazydays here in Tucson and took their driver confidence course. It was a great introduction into driving a rig, which is something neither of us really has any experience with. Really glad we did this! Kind of boggles my mind how anyone could do a decent job starting out without learning the tricks they taught us.

 Karin was super excited about the course while I was pretty terrified. I felt VERY intimidated going into it, especially when I saw the size of the RV they had for us to learn on. It was a 40 footer, which is considerably larger than what we plan to purchase. But nonetheless I was determined to do this. Even though Karin is typically the one driving whenever we go places together, I think it's unwise to rely on just one driver. I want to be able to drive whenever the need arises and be completely comfortable doing so.

 Karin volunteered to go first in our group. I waited until about halfway through. Everyone in the group did great. Over half of us were women. :) It was amazing to me how easy it was to concentrate only on the rules we were given and not even think about the enormous length sitting behind me. Hmmm.....now that just sounds hilarious to me when I read back what I just wrote!

 Karin got some video of me making my first turn. I was too freaked out to even think of capturing her moment of glory.



I was really quite proud of myself afterwards! And here are our certificates. 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

No Raves Here, Just Rants

I solemnly swear to never be a condescending blogger. How I live is NOT above however you may choose to live. How you live is NOT lame just because you don't have the DEEP insight to have figured out the ONE & ONLY PERFECT way to live.

As long as I have the freedom to choose the lifestyle that suits me, you are free to do the complete opposite for all I care. REALLY. I don't need to sit around and blog about how stupid your life is.

Sorry. But tired of people who have supposedly figured it all out, enjoy visiting a "charming" town (enough to make it an annual stay) but at the same time can't stop themselves from knocking the local townsfolk for being different from them. SERIOUSLY??? Just cause it ain't your thing doesn't make it the end of the world.

I suppose a person like that really is better off being in the boonies.I hope I never reach the point where way far away from everyone else is the only place that truly suits me.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Back In January....

Since it's almost March (HELLO!), thought I'd finally post about some January stuff. The stuff other than my granddaughter being born anyway.   :)

We took a couple of days to go check out the big assed RV show out at Quartzsite being that we had never done that before. One simply MUST do this at some point if they are to be an official RV'er. Am I right???  We drove over in the morning with the thought to spend the afternoon at the show and then go back the next morning to finish up and then head back the second afternoon. The first part of that plan was kept. But that one afternoon there is all that we wanted. So the next day we changed our plans and drove down to Yuma and visited the Territorial Prison and afterword drove home from there. Turned out perfectly. Yay for being flexible!

Back to Quartzsite. Wow. What a huge sea of RV's! Have never seen anything like it before nor will I likely ever again. We first visited the big tent of vendors. I'd say at least half of the vendors were hawking stuff not all that closely related to RVs. That was kind of a let down. So it really didn't take much time to go through it. Then we hit the RV dealer lots. That's the fun part for us! We specifically wanted to see some of the smaller, older rigs. And we saw so many good ones that we felt had a lot to offer for our needs. It was reassuring. One of the things that amazes us is that even when we think we've seen it all as far as layouts/designs, we keep seeing things we haven't seen before. This pleases us greatly.   :)

The overall vibe of the show is part fair, part swap meet, part RV life. One long afternoon of that mix was enough for us frankly. I have no love of either fairs or swap meets. So we drove on to Blythe CA for our dinner & over-nighting. And in the morning we headed south.   :)   Here we are "pretending" at the show.

Karin

Moi

On to Yuma. Since we'd never been before and we were interested in seeing the Territorial Prison it made sense to just make that our return trip route. It turned out to be a really pretty drive down from Quartzsite. And Yuma was nothing like we had imagined it to be. I know I expected it to be really dusty and ugly. Where one gets ideas like this I have no idea. It couldn't have been further from the truth. Being that it hugs the Colorado River, Yuma actually has irrigation. It was freaking green!!! It's a very agricultural community with loads of farms that we drove by into town. We saw all kinds of lovely green leafy things growing in pretty rows. Happiness! Yup. 

And then there was the prison. No green stuff growing there but I in particular dug the cool little architectural details all over the place. Not a huge history buff so the museum was a bit of a yawner for me but there was still plenty to keep me amused. And it didn't hurt that it was a stunningly gorgeous day.  :)

Prepare now for an onslaught of pictures. I would love to incorporate a slideshow here but don't know how to do it? Anyway, I'll figure that out eventually. 


Karin

Oh yes she did!!!


Need a trim???

Taken from deep within the "dark cell". Karin looks like a ghostly apparition.  :)

Row of cells. Love these metal doors!

Me on the good side of a cell door.



The following week we had a very different RV encounter. Full time RV'ers Ayo & Yair of http://ourtakeonfreedom.wordpress.com/ spent a week or so in Tucson and we hooked up with them for a day. They graciously gave us the grand tour of their rig and gave us loads of tips and insight on the realities of RV living. We really appreciated that! Then it was on to lunch at a local favorite and then time to go play in the desert. Ever get the chance to meet these two, do! They are super friendly, super sweet and just good good people. 

Ayo, Yair & myself

Yair & Karin

Ayo waving hello. 

Saguaros always fascinate.

I never get tired of them.    :)













                   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Not a Professional Blogger

So how many times am I allowed to start off a post with "I've been a bad blogger" before it gets really annoying?  I may need to find a new approach. The goal is not to annoy. This much I know for sure. I will never be a daily blogger. Number one, it feels too much like a job if I put deadlines and such on myself. And number two, how many of us actually have something relevant to say to mostly strangers on a daily basis? Okay, a few people maybe but not this girl! I would bore you to tears. I even try to limit my facebook updates so I don't wear out my welcome.   :)   But I would actually love to show up here semi-regularly. Say maybe weekly? Or at least several times a month. Enough to keep me working on my writing that I inflict on other people.

I've been in hyper reading mode of late. I had three books going at the same time. I'm about halfway through Life by Keith Richards. It's a really BIG book. So big that I can't take it to bed to read at night. If I did I would risk hurting myself if I should happen to fall asleep while reading. Trust me, I am all too familiar with being hit in the face with a falling book while reading in bed. But it is a really enjoyable read!

So for my bedtime reading I've been reading the Hunger Games series on my Kindle. Yup. A nice light weight Kindle! How awesome are those things? I have a ridiculously large number of books stored all one terrifically light little tablet. My face is safe. You might ask why I don't just get the Keith Richards book on my Kindle. Because the library has the hardcover for FREE. Duh. I am having a hard time bringing myself to pay for books I can get for free otherwise. Only reason I have the Hunger Games series on my Kindle is because my dear friend gifted me her older kindle already loaded with those books and many many more.

And then the third book is Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes. I won't give the ending away. I'll just say that the book is amazing in it's dedication to presenting the actual facts based solely on science. Boggles the mind how much BS the medical community has tossed out there as fact without anything to actually back it up. And because they are the supposed "authorities" we buy into it even when we can clearly see it doesn't work. You can bet your sweet patooty I will be working to change my eating habits to better align with how our bodies actually function in regards to what we do and do not eat. It won't be easy. At least not at first. And my biggest obstacle may be getting my sweetie on board with this. Ohhhhhh, she's NOT going to like it one teeny tiny little bit. But as a diabetic it will most assuredly be in her best interest. And I LOVES her so very much!    :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look What I Made!

I signed up with Pinterest many months ago but have only become active there in the last month or so. For those that don't know, Pinterest is a website that allows you to create virtual bulletin boards where you "pin" websites that are of interest to you. For example, recipes to try is a popular thing to pin. You share your boards with others and they with you. In this way ideas are shared between large numbers of people.

I've been spending quite a bit of time there recently pinning all kinds of things. Mostly recipes and craft ideas. Now since it's been time consuming, I've promised myself I would do more than just pin all this stuff. I promised myself I would actually USE these ideas! And I've been doing pretty good. I've tried (successfully) several recipes.

Back in my stay-at-home-mom days I was quite the crafter. I did all kinds of things from sewing to crochet to embroidery and more. I've just really not done much at all since the kids left home over eight years ago. But the desire is there. And it's been getting stronger! So seeing all these cool crafts on Pinterest has really pushed me to the point where I'm determined to get crafting again. But honestly it's been so long for some things that I feel extremely rusty. Like almost frozen in fear that I won't know what to do anymore. This is especially true for crocheting. So I am selecting projects that are at an almost beginner level till I get my confidence back.

One area I had only barely gotten started on back in the day is jewelry making. But that is the one thing I am most drawn to now. So I have decided to really delve into that. Once again, beginner projects only. I've spent a lot of time scouring boards for just the right things to try. Yesterday I picked up the supplies for one of them and actually made it today! It was super easy and quick. I think it took less than an hour and I now have a bracelet I love. I want to make more of them and already figured out ways to make them turn out better.

This is a cotton wrapped leather & ball chain bracelet that double wraps and uses a hex nut for closure. Next time I will use a thicker leather cord and a smaller hex nut.





Nothing fancy, but still with a lot of fun detailing. I love unusual uses for things like the hex nut closure.  :)




Saturday, January 28, 2012

And Now Introducing........

So much stuff to share, I scarcely know where to begin! I could go in chronological order but that would mean delaying what I'm most excited about. May as well get right to it then.  :)    My second grandchild, beautiful Brianna Marie, made her entrance into the world in the early hours of the morning today! Baby and Momma are doing well and hopefully getting at least a little rest. These are the pictures I have thus far.




It's killing me to not be able to be with them right now, getting to know my granddaughter! But we plan to drive to Indy in mid-March. This will give them time to settle into their new family for a bit. We will also be able to celebrate Kaleb's fourth birthday then. We have had to miss his birthdays up to now. So we have much to look forward to!





Monday, January 9, 2012

Hopes & Dreams

Day four question (coming at you a day late) is what is something you hope to do in your life. Now there are a great many things I hope to do yet in my life. But I think the two biggest things on my radar right now are to write a book and for Karin and I to switch to full time RV living. I'm in no particular hurry in regards to the book. But making the RV dream come true is another matter. This is the thing that I have to really actively focus on. I have to have a lot of faith that the universe is going to work with us to bring it about.

We've been focusing on this for the past year and half. It's not one of my "passing fancies". It's a very real, very earnest desire for the both of us. Whenever I think about it I get that feeling that it's what is supposed to BE. I'll never forget how when I first brought up the idea to Karin (and I hadn't even been previously thinking about it...it just sort of popped into my head right at that moment), she didn't look at me like I'd lost my mind. She was silent for a moment and then pretty much agreed it was worth looking into. Which we immediately did. Voraciously. Began stalking all sorts of websites and blogs relating to that lifestyle. It's been our main focus ever since. All the big things we've done since then have been to try to put us in a position to make it happen. We've covered a lot of ground but still have one major hurdle. Money. Just enough to be able to purchase a suitable rig. We would love to be on the road a year from now. So universe....is this in the cards for us? Patiently waiting......      :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

No Really, It's Okay To Be Human

The question for day 3 is what is something that you need to forgive yourself for. I'm thinking hard about this and I can't really think of anything. I guess I don't view past mistakes as things to forgive myself for. They happened. They're over and done. I learned lessons. That's the whole point. This whole "forgiveness" thing is a lot of drama if you ask me.

 When you do something that has some type of negative result, you are left to live with those consequences. You have two choices. Sit around and wallow in guilt and remorse or pick yourself up and move forward with the new insight you now have into how things work. It's the same for when you are the wronged one (or perceive yourself as such). You can have a pity party and refuse to forgive the evil one because they did such a terrible thing to you. Or....you could cut the drama and realize that you just got schooled. You now see more clearly how imperfect we humans are.

Every single one of us does things that bring about pain in ourselves and in others. Some of us learn more quickly how to avoid that. Some of us spend most of our lives pretty clueless. If your expectations are for impeccable behavior from people, you are going to be in an almost constant state of expecting forgiveness. Too much drama for me. How about I just expect to make mistakes and expect those around me to make mistakes. And how about when that happens I  just acknowledge the humanity of it and deal with the aftermath as best as I know how and with as much grace as I am capable of at the time? No need to belittle myself by groveling. And no need to belittle another by putting them in the position of needing to grovel.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Really DO Love Myself!

Today's question is what is something that you love about yourself. Well that is more like it! We should all be asking this question everyday. And answering with something different each day.   :)    I love that I'm open to new things, whether it be new foods, new ideas, new music, new ways to live, new experiences, new sensations, new friends, etc. I hear so many people freaking out over things they've never even tried. If you refuse to try it, how can you possibly know it's not for you? I've really surprised myself a lot over the years. Things that were utterly foreign to me and that I thought had no place in my life, actually transformed my life for the good because I said 'okay...I'll try it". Change is how we grow, how we come into our true selves. Not everything you try will be a good fit of course. And that's fine. You'll still be better for having stepped outside of that darned comfort zone I like to talk so much about.   :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's January. Let's Do This!

It's a new year. I've got a new computer. And I'm ready to get back to writing. Thought I'd copy a friend and answer a question a day for 30 days. It's a ready made list of questions. Not sure I'm in love with every single one of the questions so I wouldn't mind someone throwing out one for me if you feel like it. Then I'll have a replacement for the ones I don't like.   :)

First question is what is something you hate about yourself. Well. Let's just jump right in on a positive note, huh? ~smirk~   Thing is, I've been working mighty hard to NOT hate on myself. And doing pretty good if I do say so myself. And now I have to pick something anyway. Let's approach it like this. I'll think about things about myself that I find hard to love.  heeheehee  

Mostly I don't love the fact that I don't speak up for myself often enough. My preference for avoiding conflict leads me to put up with way too much. This has played itself out in most areas of my life but I feel it the most right now at work. It's so bizarre to me to see other people getting into all kinds of trouble because they don't know when to keep their mouths shut. Not that I want that problem, but sometimes it would be nice to not give a damn what anyone thinks and just say it! There is a balance to strike of course. But just stepping onto that middle ground is quite a step out of my own comfort zone.

I also don't love that my belly is waaaaaay fat and that my hair is skinny. But hey, thems the breaks. And the older I get the less I let it bother me.    :)