In A Groove

We seem to have a nice groove going on here.  Our work week is Thursday through Monday.  Although we miss most of the festivities around town and the area on Saturdays and Sundays (and believe me, there are a lot of festivities!), we do enjoy the uniqueness of being off on weekdays.  I suppose quite a few people would consider our life uneventful but, ya know what?  We’ve experienced eventful during our years as full-time RVers.  Besides that, neither of us has to be entertained by external stimulus.  Age creeping in?  No, don’t think so.  I’ve always found enjoyment in simply “be-ing.” 

Now that’s not to say we don’t get out and about or are just cocoons in our comfy recliners.

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We found exercise equipment at a local park on one of our walks together recently.

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I thought this was pretty neat.  It’s a rope climbing … cube?

My work is keeping me busy, which is almost an understatement these days.  My job is morphing and expanding yet once again, but I’m absolutely okay with that.  My boss scheduled a virtual happy hour recently, and we four gals had a good video visit via Skype.  Much needed for all of us after a crazy week, and it was nice to put faces and voices with the other two gals I work with.  We communicate and collaborate during working hours via Skype messaging and email, which is wonderful and productive, but it was fun to hang out “in person” with video chat.

Virtual happy hour … what a great idea!  I’m looking forward to more of those.  I think we’re gonna need ‘em.  Ha!  I’m so grateful for my telecommuting job and my colleagues.  We rock!

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We get morning sun through our front living room window, so the plants catch some rays.

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Speaking of plants, I got a couple of shepherd’s hooks and hanging baskets

You see quite a few shepherd’s hooks with hanging baskets in our community, since actually planting something in the flowerbeds is taboo.  You can place things in the flowerbeds, just can’t dig in ‘em. Quite a few cottages have really nice and cute patios set up.  We haven’t done much because we don’t have a garage yet and, therefore, no place to store things when Mr. Winter arrives. 

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Dave commented a few times about how nice other residents’ hanging baskets were, so … I scored these on sale at Home Depot!  Hopefully we’ll have a garage by next Summer and can spruce up our patio a bit more.  At least we have some color out there now, and flowering plants are always nifty.

Last week a Healing Powwow was held at the hospital, which is right down the street.  I could see the marquee tent set up and, when I saw the colors being taken in and started hearing drums, I bugged out of work and walked down.

I hadn’t been to a powwow in around 10 years.  This was a small one, but oh so very awesome.  The “real deal,” not something contrived for tourists.  After the Grand Entrance, dance was opened to anyone/everyone there, not just the registered dancers.  Well …

I could hear my mentor Lyn whispering in my ear about embracing Life, joy, the moment and who I am spiritually.  I think I also felt her give me solid yet loving nudge.  The spiritual 2×4, if you will.  So …

I danced. 

Just a few minutes.  But in those few minutes, my heart was full and I experienced such joy.  Amazing.  It was one of “those” moments.  I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

I was away from my office for less than an hour.  How terrific is that?

You can see a short video of the Grand Entrance and read about the powwow here.


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We have seen several rainbows, including doubles like this one, during our time here so far.  We could actually see both ends of this one …

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I need to learn how to take a panoramic photo with my phone.  Here’s the other end.

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Sunset from our patio.

So today is Sunday and my day for housecleaning.  That’s working out to be a good schedule.  Once a week means no chore is really difficult because I’m doing it weekly, and it doesn’t take that long.  That also sets us up for a nice, fresh home on our days off and I have those days relatively chore-free.  Even though I get groceries and do laundry over those 2 days, it still leaves plenty of time to chill out and enjoy quality time together.

Running errands is pleasant and stress-free here.  Doesn’t take much time, either, in a small town.  I’m also giddy at the fact that I don’t have to perform Twister moves to clean the bathroom like I did in the RV!

This “weekend” we’re planning another trip to the secondhand bookstore downtown to restock Dave and perhaps a wee road trip to the town of Blackduck.  There’s a scenic drive on that route and our Wee Beastie (the car) could use a good outing. 

Yes, Life is Guid!

Thanks for stopping by!


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November Mid Point

It has been a busy 2 weeks since my last post.  Here’s what has been happening:

  • Dave is working his evening shifts after completing training last week.  He aced the 12 training modules (all training done via computer) and finished before the “youngsters” there for training.  Maturity rocks!  He has learned there is an entire universe of hair care products for us gals.  Ha!  He will have Tuesday and Wednesday off each week; that’s the schedule for now.
  • My MT training has been going well, and I feel better about it, like I am getting the hang of how this company wants things done, account specs, etc.  Seems I have developed a cold ? allergies ? and have been somewhat under the weather, so my mentor decided it best to postpone my training until next week in order for me to get over this.  Plugged ears are not conducive to hearing at one’s peak performance.  I agree with that, as it gives me time to rest (and I have been taking cat naps off and on, and even conked out totally for one entire day) and turn my attention to some other things I simply had not the time to tackle since our arrival here.  I am looking forward to getting back to the training, though.
  • On the virtual assistant (VA) front, I am having a grand time with this and have been given additional tasks.  Yay!  I am hopeful this will be a long-term relationship.
  • Although yesterday was Friday the 13th, we had a bit of good luck.  We decided to cruise over to the other RV park (where we are on the waiting list) to see if there was going to be an opening any time soon, as our rent here is due next Thursday. Lo and behold . . . yes!  I will check back Monday morning, but right now it looks like we will be moving next week, hopefully Tuesday when Dave is off.  I simply cannot express what a relief that will be.  I really think the amount of dust and dampness here is a major contributor to my allergy issues.  Aside from that, there is no good/safe place to walk Maggie here and . . . well, you’ve heard me talk about this place.  It has served the purpose as a landing spot here, but it sure will look good in the rearview mirror.
  • We have had only a day here and there with (perhaps) sunshine; the rest of the time it has been raining.  The ground has not had a chance to totally dry out; we are still stepping in mud to get to our kitchen dump valve towards the rear of our rig.  Ugh.  When it does dry out a bit, there is dust everywhere outside; this site is more dirt/mud than gravel.  We did have to hitch up and place another Lynx Leveler pad under one of our front landing legs; the bottom one had sunk into the ground.  Lovely.  It was lightly raining when Maggie and I were out just a bit ago, and there is more rain on the way beginning tonight through Tuesday.  Lovely, I say, lovely!  El Nino is supposed to bring us a wet winter, so being in a concrete site is really going to be a good thing.
  • Yesterday afternoon was devoted to getting us signed up for health insurance in 2016.  Not a difficult task, but tedious and time-consuming.  I certainly can see how folks might struggle to do so with little knowledge of how insurance works, all the terms, etc.

Heart, thoughts and prayers go to the people of Paris and all of France. 

Ya’ll be safe out there, please?  Be alert.  Be aware of your surroundings. 

Thanks for stopping by!

And on the 14th Day . . .

the Sun Did Shine!

We awoke a bit after 8 AM this morning at the Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC to actual sunshine. It is difficult to express how wonderful this was after enduring 13 straight days of virtually nonstop rain, including the massive and catastrophic rain system that pummeled South Carolina this past weekend. We rolled out of the park and onto I-20 West shortly before 11:30 AM.

Our first stop was about 60 miles down the road at the Georgia state line welcome center. Yes, there was cheering as we crossed into Georgia from South Carolina.

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Dig that blue sky!

We munched Pringles (our road trip snack of choice) merrily along until Exit 114, and stopped at the Pilot across the interstate to fuel up for tomorrow’s leg of our journey. Back out on US 129/US 441, we crossed I-20 and cruised down a couple of miles to Country Boys RV Park. This is our third stay here. The park really isn’t much to look at, but it is quite decent for an overnight stay with WiFi that works, cable, good utilities and decent gravel sites. Most of the park is filled with long-term workers, but everyone is friendly and we stop now and then to visit for a bit when we take our strolls around the site loop. We talked quite a while with a young man who is a traveling nurse. I would certainly recommend this as an overnight stay.

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Letting our awning dry out a bit here at Country Boys RV Park

If you’ve been watching any coverage of the situation in South Carolina, you’ve heard about dams failing and/or breaching. These have been earthen dams in the area; however, we were never in the path of potential danger from these.

Lake Murray was not too far north from our location in Lexington. The Saluda Dam (or Dreher Shoals Dam) is a large concrete-and-steel dam that is located there. Lake Murray had reached capacity and the dam floodgates were opened at least twice during our stay. This had not happened since 1969, except for testing purposes. South Carolina Emergency Management Division periodically posted reassurances on Facebook that the Lake Murray dam was in no danger of failure, and I certainly did appreciate that. If that dam would fail . . . well . . . we would have been done. Quickly. Period. Truth be told, I feel just flat better being away from there.

Here we have cows lowing in the field next door. Cows have groovy energy.

We traveled 152.9 miles today without incident or discomfort, for which I am very grateful. Tomorrow we’ll be making our way down to Hope Hull, AL, just outside Montgomery, where we will lay over for 6 nights.

Hopefully that stay will be the relaxing time we envisioned for Lexington. Although we were never in immediate danger, the conditions were absolutely uncertain and we never could really let down our guard. I’m looking forward to doing laundry, working my virtual assistant job and transitioning from disaster preparedness mode to enjoying-the-road-trip mode.

Thanks again, everyone, for your continued support and good vibes as we journey along!

Ya’ll stay safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hopefully . . .

We are hitched up and hoping to make our departure from here tomorrow. I don’t think there are any current issues on I-20 West, but I’ll check in the morning before we head out.

We really could have left today, but there was still some rain and a good amount of wind; we also thought there might be a fair amount of traffic craziness on the highways, so we thought we’d give it another day for everything to settle down a bit. We didn’t have to leave, so we didn’t!

We did have rain off and on today, but nothing nearly as heavy as over the past 36 or so hours. In fact, we were able to get in a few walks, including one that was entirely rain-free just a bit ago.

Four rigs, including ours, are parked – 2 on each side of the street across from one another – up here on this end of the street. All couples were out this morning standing around for a lively visit for a while. I can say that is the one thing that has been a plus in this experience . . . the people we have met here.

We’ve had not only RV’ing in common, but being here through this together. All four couples of us are planning our “getaway” tomorrow, some headed east, some north and 2 of us west.

I’ll also say that Tina (the manager here) has been very helpful and accommodating in extending our stay day by day.  She was absolutely swamped (no pun intended, but there it is) with phone calls and rigs swarming in during the peak of the event.  There were absolutely no flooding issues here and no problems with the utilities. This is a sound park and a good choice for overnight or long-term.

We did venture out earlier today for a couple of things from the convenience store just on the corner. No bread to be found, of course. We’ll pick up some along the way after we leave here.

Columbia has been hit extremely hard. Just talked with a guy in a crew that came in today; they’ll be doing construction/restoration work and I know they’ll be busy for a long time. He said it is absolutely catastrophic – roads gone, buildings flooded, inability to even get into some neighborhoods, National Guard out . . .

We have been extremely fortunate here and for that we are so very grateful.

Except for the torrential rains the past several days and the television coverage, you would not even know all this was unfolding just from being here in the park. Today was the first day we ventured out of the park since (I think) Saturday (or perhaps it was Friday) morning, when I went to fuel up the truck.

Well, short post tonight just to say we are alive and well, high and dry. Tomorrow is advertised as sunny with a high in the mid 70s. That will be absolutely delightful if it happens.

Today was day 13 of rain for us, as we were experiencing it before we left the work site prior to coming here. Day 13. Sheesh.

C’mon Mr. Sun!

Ya’ll be safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Good Day to Bake

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Someone was ready for snuggles when bedtime rolled around at 3 AM this morning

The weather folks pegged this day except for the blustery conditions; we have had a bit of rain and it is definitely chilly out.  Yep, it has been a good day to be in the kitchen, or “galley,” as some RV folks call it.

Years ago I was introduced to sausage balls and olive/cheese puffs by my then mother-in-law.  Yummy delights, those.  Having the recipes from her, these two items have become holiday staples in my home since then.  Today was the day.

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First batch of sausage balls

 

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The olive/cheese puffs come out looking like wee sombreros most of the time, but they are still yummy.

Both the sausage balls and olive/cheese puffs have passed the taste test.  We’re good to go.  Speaking of going, these babies don’t last long around our house, and I imagine I’ll be doing another round between Christmas and New Year’s.

The movie of choice during all this cooking was The Longest Day, an epic D-Day film with just about anyone you can remember being in it.  I followed that up with The House Across the Bay, an oldie I had never seen before today.

My heart and thoughts this evening are with the families of the two NYPD officers assassinated today.

Everybody be safe out there, okay?

Thanks for stopping by!

Today There is Less Laughter in the World . . .

You may have heard of the passing of Robin Williams earlier today.  He was 63 years old.

So many of us found laughter and joy in his films and admired his more serious works.  You might have even been in the audience of a live performance or seen him on The Actors Studio or similar venue.

You know Robin as a comedian and actor.  Did you also know he was an accomplished cyclist?

For several years, I participated in the Lance Armstrong Foundation Ride for the Roses when it was only held in Austin, Texas.  This was a weekend-long event, with seminars and expo Friday and Saturday and the ride on Sunday.  It may have been 2004, but I’m not sure as I attended the ride for several years in a row back then.  I booked a bed and breakfast suite in Austin and made it a weekend of self-pampering.  Of course, the highlight of the weekend was Sunday’s ride.  Here’s me crossing the finish line in 2004.

Thousands of cyclists – over 6000 – came from all across the nation and literally from around the globe.  You never really knew who you might be standing next to at the event staging area.

Riders were composed of survivors like myself, those riding in support of someone battling cancer and those riding in memory of someone who had passed.

There was so much energy in the air, so much spirit, courage and determination.  It was somewhat of a spiritual experience.  That day, during those hours of the ride, we were a family. 

We were one, united by cancer.

At these events, groups of riders depart the start in stages.  The riders for the longest route go first, then the riders for the next route and so forth until everyone is on the road.  There can be hundreds of riders in each group, so this can take a bit of time.

So here it was early morning and chilly; the sun had barely risen.  We’re at the staging area, the National Anthem has been played, Lance has given his pre-ride talk and the first group of riders is away. 

Who appears on the stage?

Robin Williams.

Robin started talking . . . and talking.  The entire crowd started laughing.  I’m sure his was an impromptu “performance;”  heck, it was just Robin talking to us and I don’t even remember what he was saying.  What I do remember is the sound of laughter filling the early morning air.  My group waited for almost an hour but – you know what?  It seemed like five minutes thanks to the antics of Robin and his ability to engage the crowd. 

During this, a rider standing next to me started telling me how he had encountered Robin at the expo the day before.  He said Robin was so down-to-earth and asked the guy why he was riding.  He told Robin how he was riding for his girlfriend, who was extremely ill with cancer and a huge fan of his.  Next thing he knew, Robin told him to call his girlfriend and he would would say hello to her.  The guy called and handed his phone to Robin when his girlfriend got on the line.  The guy told me the conversation went like this (okay, it’s been several years, but the last line is basically verbatim””):

“Hi!  This is Robin Williams!”

“No it’s not.  No way.”

“Well, who the hell do you think it is?!?!?”

The guy told me his girlfriend and Robin had a nice wee chat.  She was absolutely overwhelmed and so thrilled!

There was no press release about this, no cameras . . . it was something Robin just did to brighten the day of a cancer warrior.

I never met Robin at these events and didn’t even get close to him; however, I am feeling a personal loss at his passing.

Robin’s status as a celebrity was huge . . . but not nearly as big as his heart. 

There is less laughter in our world today . . .