You Know You’re Back Up North …

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  • You know you’re back up North when you’re wearing thermals in late April.
  • You know you’re back up North when you hear the North wind howling outside in late April.
  • You know you’re back up North when your weather forecast for the next few days has the chance of snow – accumulation of such – in late April.
  • You know you’re back up North when you’re posting photos of snow on your blog!

No complaints about any of those things.  I’m sleeping very well.  My body is physically much happier here.  My soul is much happier here.  “Content” is the word that applies, I think. 

We’re on our “Saturday night” this evening, and we’re winding down a nice day.  Ran a few errands together this morning, including a trip to Home Depot.  I think it may well have been 2 years since we’ve done that together.  Nice. Then it was back home, where Dave put together his computer space and I spent time in the kitchen with the slow cooker going as part of our meal for tomorrow and the work week, and then made quesadillas for our dinner.  Again, nice.

I’ve been having fun finding more “treasures” that have been packed away for much too long while living in our RV.

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Tomorrow we may just watch it snow and begin hanging things on the walls.  I’m digging having my “weird” stuff out in the Light again.  Not sure yet where my hoop drums will hang, but I’m looking forward to having them on display and truly in my presence again.  Who knows?  One of these days I might even find a drum circle around here.  There’s plenty of time for that.

It was our first full work week for both of us.  We seem to be settling in rather seamlessly, which is a relief.  Not that I had any concerns, really, but one never knows when one relocates to a new area.   You know what?  Today was our first “Saturday” that felt like what I think a “normal” weekend day should feel.  Wee shopping errands together, home projects, cooking, actually eating together, chilling out watching a Netflix program.  Relaxing.  Yeah, it had been a tough couple of years …

What do you think of the new format here?  I found myself struggling a bit to read this the other evening in the old theme colors.  I prefer a darker background color for photographs, but I’m finding this easier on the eyes to read.  We’ll see …

A cross-country relocation is a massive undertaking, and I’m not just talking about the trip.  There are so many things to see about like address changes, new driver’s licenses, finding out where things are in your new hometown, etc.  We located the recycle station last week and I picked up driver’s manuals so we can study for our tests. 

Oh!  Friends in Texas are selling their 2006 Nuwa Hitchhiker 5th wheel.  If you’re in the market for a nice, well-maintained RV, take a stroll over to their listing on RVTrader and check it out.   They are preparing to move back onto their sailboat, “Raven,” and take up life on the seas once again after a few years of living on land.  Sound interesting?  Follow their adventures at Raven’s Cruise Log.  I do!  Gosh, I’ve known Hilde and David for … forever.  Hilde and I not long ago were trying to recall how and when we met back in Texas.  Seems like each of us  was just “always there” for one another.   Good friends, good times, good memories.  Those, too, are treasures that belong in the Light.

Hard to believe it’s already 10:30.  Geez, where does the time go when one is blogging with groovy tunes in one’s ears? 

Hope you have many treasures basking in the Light …

Thanks for stopping by!    Be safe out there, okay?

Kept the Balls in the Air Another Week

In my previous post, I visited with you about juggling Life and its activities.  I’m happy to report I kept those balls in the air another week, with my second Sunday evening yoga session.  As the routine I had chosen was only 30 minutes, I followed that up with a 30-minute guided meditation.  I’m thinking about extending the yoga portion out to 45 minutes or an hour; seems like 30 minutes left me wanting more.  I’m still modifying the routine, so it’s all a work in progress.

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Outdoor time continued this week, sometimes mornings, sometimes evenings.

Not only did Maggie and I have what I call our “outdoor therapy time” but she got a clip and some extended massage/silly talk time one evening.  This was the result . . .

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Silly leg in the air after all that lovin’.

Of course, yesterday was Mother’s Day and my thoughts went to Mom, who has been gone since 2007.  Here’s one of my fave photos of her . . .

Mom Christmas 1950s

Christmastime photo taken by my Dad, probably in the 1950s.

Since we are off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Mondays are our Fridays.  Yay!  Lots of folks dread Monday, as it harkens the beginning of the work week.  We, however, look forward to Monday!  No great plans for this “weekend,” just the usual errands, cycling for Dave and hanging out for both of us.

After quite a bit of fine tuning, I believe I have found the right height and screen tilt for my laptop on my wee desk.  Did I mention I was hunting for a pair of prescription computer glasses I had from my medical transcription days?  Well, I think I have found them!  I have regular reading glasses for when I wear contacts, but they were totally ineffective for computer work.  After a grand “scavenger hunt,” I found a pair of glasses tucked away in a drawer.  I’m thinking they are prescription, as they are doing the trick so far.  What a relief.  The ergonomic chair purchased a while back, laptop position, mid-range computer glasses and increasing the magnification of my screen has lessened the eye strain, shoulder tension and general uncomfortable feeling I was having after putting in the hours of working on the laptop.  So far, so good for now.

It has been pretty darn blustery here today, although warm with no rain.  The heat has not been horrible . . . yet.  I have a routine I go through for “cool running” here in the rig after Dave goes to work.  I’ve been staying comfortable in shorts with both A/C units set at 76 and a floor fan going here in the living room.  I do turn them both units down before Dave gets home from work, so it’s really cool in here for him and in prep for sleeping.

“Cool running?”  Yes, that’s closing certain shades and curtains at different times of the day depending on the slant of Mr. Sun.  It’s not cooking during the peak heat time (4:30 to 7 PM) and not having the TV on.  The television puts out a fair amount of heat, actually.  Heck, I’m busy working or doing something else like house chores that I don’t need – or want – television.  What about with meals?  Nope.  I’ve been reading, as was my habit years ago.  (Right now it’s Bel-Air Dead by Stuart Woods.  I always enjoy the Stone Barrington novels.)

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Enjoying cooking while it’s not 2000F outside.  Tuna biscuit casserole, a longstanding “comfort food” dish, for my meals this week

That inevitable time in Texas is approaching when the A/C units will be getting a thorough workout, so I’m trying to give them a break as long as possible.  I’m thankful we have not had really hot days yet and that, with the exception of one or two occasions, nights have been pleasantly cool for sleeping.

It is coming, though.  I dread it beyond description, but will soldier through and remember that it will come to an end.

You know what?  This blog post has come to an end.  Let the weekend commence!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Juggling Act

I’ve had this wee Gateway notebook for a few years. I used it now and then in New Jersey, but it seemed to run so slowly that I became frustrated with it on several levels. I dug it out recently just to see if it really was as bad as I remembered. Lo and behold, for some reason it seems to be behaving significantly better.  Who knows?  Perhaps it just likes Texas.

I’m composing in Wordpad, will save to a stick as a draft and then finalize the post in Open Live Writer and publish from my laptop.  The tricky part is typing on the very small keypad.

Why am I going to all this trouble?  I miss blogging and writing in general. I sit at my laptop working a significant number of hours these days.  I have less time for my brain to wander, if you will.  I miss letting my thoughts “freefall.”

To say that my days are full is somewhat of an understatement. That’s not a complaint, just a statement of fact.

I’ve got the basic daily routine of my life down pretty well and am now trying to integrate some other facets once again.

I have started giving Maggie more outdoor time, hooking her up to her lead and sitting out with her for 20-minute periods two to three times daily, weather permitting. 

Maggie outdoor time 04162016

She spends much more time indoors and is exposed to much less stimulation versus that in our life as a security team.  I could tell she was pretty much bored just hanging out watching me work.  Our “sit outs” seem to be helping, as she now anticipates them and seems more perky in general.  Yes, we walk the loop in the park, but it’s not the same as just hanging out listening to birds, watching people, etc.

Being more sedentary these days, I need to resume a walking routine.  This is not only good for my physical body, but for my state of mind and my Spirit.  Nothing like a 2-mile walk (several times around the loop) with groovy tunes in my head to recharge my batteries on several levels.  I’m hoping it will also help acclimate me to the Texas climate again.

Well, one can hope, right?

A scavenger hunt of sorts failed to turn up my yoga DVD. It has to be here somewhere; I just haven’t found it yet.  I did find my Tai Chi DVD, only to remember that the DVD player is disconnected from the TV to allow access for the cable converter box.

We have a Roku streaming stick, and I have found some yoga series on it.  In fact, I did a bit Sunday night and found that I need to do a lot more!  I think it will work be feasible to do yoga here in the living room.

It’s all about integrating and maintaining balance in one’s life, and that is what I am striving to achieve at this point.  I’ll have to compromise and improvise at times, but I think it will be worth it.

How’s your balancing act going?

Thanks for stopping by!

Looking Down the Road

I’m grateful again today that we are in a park with concrete sites and roads.  Dave just now mentioned he could only imagine the state of the other park we were at briefly when we landed here in College Station.  The term “mud pit” surely describes it.  Here, though, we are good.

April 18 2016

Break in the rains on April 18

The days and nights seem to fly by; perhaps it does have something to do with the aging process?  As one gets on the “downhill side” of Life years, does Time truly seem to pass more swiftly?  Perhaps it’s a “mental” thing.  When one is young, one seems to be waiting for different stages . . . summer break from school, graduation, first job, first home . . . you get the idea.  Looking down the expanse that is the open road of one’s life to come.  In later years, perhaps we subconsciously realize we’re gliding on the “downhill” side.  Get it? 

I have to smile . . . the song on my Pandora station right now is “Where Are We Going From Here?”  We have been casually talking about the future.  No, we’re not ready to make a jump at this time, and it will be, realistically, two years before that time comes.  With that in mind, now is the time to start visiting the topic.  We are looking at ultimately transitioning from RV living to a 55+ community, i.e., apartment/villa/townhome so we do not have maintenance, grounds upkeep, snow shoveling. 

I hear you exclaim, “Snow shoveling??!”

We lived in northern Minnesota for a couple of years; yes, that included Winters.  It was a small town with not much between us and Canada except a lot of trees, lakes and black bears.  We both really liked that environment.  It was wild, simple, pristine, laid back . . . yes, Winter is cold with temperatures dipping down to –30 or so.  It is a dry cold – trust me, that makes a world of difference – and easier for us to physically tolerate.  One adapts and dresses for it.  Yes, you cover your face in subzero conditions.  Your breath freezes.  Your nose hairs freeze!  Snow?  Yes, there’s snow; however, life in that environment continues.  Things don’t come to a standstill – except during actual blizzards – just because there’s white stuff on the ground.  Summers are mild.  There are fewer occurrences of weather-related disasters such flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and so forth.  Extreme cold each Winter also seems to “clear the slate,” if you will, with regard to insects, viruses, etc.  It’s like you start afresh each Spring.  We like that concept and feel the colder climes are healthier for us all around.

Betty and Baby Hibbing Dec 2006

Me and Baby (our dog-child then) strolling around town – December 2006

There is something fun, magical, unique and perhaps a wee bit insane about firing up the backyard grill, standing in snow and having the white flakes come down on you while doing so.

Ever seen the sun shine on ice crystals in the air, causing them to look like twinkling diamonds suspended in air?  Stood on your back porch and marveled at the Northern Lights?  Ever cycled the numerous Rails To Trails paths and seen a young black bear up ahead or had a large deer cross your path right in front of you?  Heard Canada Geese and the call of the Loon from your open bedroom window in the early morning?  Have you sat at the feet of a Native Elder and been honored by the wisdom and insight of yourself bestowed upon you?

If you have, then you perhaps understand the voice that speaks inside, calling you back to that land. 

Our Maple

Looking across the alley at the maple tree in our backyard in MN

Pros and cons.  Unfortunately, there are financial considerations.  Minnesota’s health insurance premiums are predicted to skyrocket exponentially in the coming year and the state does have a personal income tax. 

Texas is financially more favorable as the overall cost of living is lower and there is no personal income tax.

Wherever we end up, I think we agree that it will be a smaller town, one which has necessary amenities but not a surplus of businesses, hustle, bustle, traffic and people.  We’ll be back where one more intimately shares the land, sky and water with Mother Earth’s creatures of the wild kind.

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Security job site – Warren Glen, NJ – October 2012 – See?  This is the “problem.”  We spent 3.5 years at this site in a small community.  We became “spoiled” with the beauty, the remoteness, living in Nature, the simplicity, the “wildness,” the peace, the privacy.

So, that’s our “problem,” mine, at least.  My soul looks forward to the time of escape from a large city with so much traffic and so many people.  I know, I know.  College Station is not truly considered a large city; however, it is a megalopolis by my standards.

We’ll see what the future brings and how we can shape ours.  There may be communities in Texas which would suit our everyday living needs with regards to housing, but . . .

What about one’s soul?  Does one have to “settle” for something totally absent of what is desired?  I confess it saddens me to think so.  Can’t one manifest what one’s soul longs for?  I have always believed so.

In the meantime, today is our “Sunday.”  The rains have hopefully moved out of the area for a while this afternoon.  Dave is preparing to get out on the bike again today – he logged 52 miles yesterday – and I’ll be going for a much-needed hair trim later.  Then it’s cooking Mexican Lasagna once I return; it’s a great dish for a few meals this week and then for portioning and storing in the freezer for a later date.  An evening of chilling – we finished House of Cards and have moved on to Hinterland.  Tomorrow it’s back to work!

Thanks for strolling down the path of future plans with me!

Rare Sunday Evening Post

Work has been quiet this weekend, so I have taken advantage of the lull to do some major Spring cleaning.  We’re talkin’ mini blinds, cabinets, vents, inside closets, walls, fixtures, etc.  Not just the usual routine dusting and so forth, but the cleaning I’ve been wanting to do ever since we left the funkiness of South Carolina and the other park here in Bryan where we stayed for a month.  Yes, I’ve been doing the “lightweight” usual housecleaning, but not this nitty-gritty stuff on a deeper level.  Seems like I’ve been working a lot; well, not just seems like it, but I have.  Our days off together have seen us running errands or simply just crashing – watching movies, napping in our recliners, etc.

So, I’ve been going with the flow – workflow, that is – and using this lull to tackle these things.  Today was a wee grocery run before Dave left with the truck, then laundry, changing out the bed linens, feeding/walking Maggie followed by dinner for me.  Just took a chicken noodle casserole out of the oven for meals over the next couple of days.

It’s been a bit busier here in the park recently.  This is a popular stopping spot with several return guests.  We’ve been here since November, and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting with a few “regulars” even in that short period of time.

I guess that’s a short period of time.  This week will mark four months we’ve been here.  Yoinks!

I’ll confess . . . I’m sometimes in a bit of a funk about our present situation.  We both have said, “If only we’d taken the Massachusetts assignment when it was offered . . .”  At that time, however, it really did look like we were on track to be in NJ another few years.  We didn’t see the advantage in going more north since we were content where we were.  If we had . . . we’d still be making great money doing the security work we enjoy in surroundings which suit us better than where we are now. 

But . . . one can drive oneself nuts and make oneself miserable thinking about the “if only’s.” 

Don’t get me wrong.  Really.  I am grateful for the work we have, that we landed in a nice park and that we are hanging in.

I’m grateful for all the memories we made while in New Jersey.  We worked hard, had adventures, adapted to Mother Nature’s whims and had ourselves some fun!

I have always been one to look on the positive side of things and I still do, it’s just that sometimes . . .

Ah well. 

You know what, though? 

Life is guid!

Thanks for stopping by!

It Must Be a Totally Awesome Door . . .

First, I’ll take a minute to answer Susan’s question in the comments from my last post. An RV park in Bryan, TX will be our initial, and perhaps long-term, landing spot. I would really like to be closer to Brenham, but there is only 1 park there, and the most recent reviews on it were less than stellar.

Brenham really could use a decent RV park. I believe there would be enough business from overnighters, sightseers to the area and snowbirds to keep a good park ticking over. Anyone out there interested? Let us know if you want to put one in; we’ll run it for you! (In my dreams . . .)

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I have believed for many years that when one door in Life closes, another opens. Actually, I have known this to be true from personal Life experiences. I also know that everything happens for a reason in our lives. These are two concepts I pass along to my Reiki students.

One could easily say these two beliefs are being tested these days. I was notified today that my virtual assistant job is ending due to the project coordinator leaving the company. 

That was just a wee bit of a bolt out of the blue.

So . . . our security work ends October 1, my VA (virtual assistant) job of 2 years is gone (at least for the moment; I’m sure I will be contacted should they have projects in the future) and we’re being forced back to Texas so we can continue to have health insurance coverage.

Must be one heck of a door that’s gonna open, eh?

I had decided not to begin the job search for medical transcription employment until we land in Texas with the reasoning that I want to be available to begin work immediately upon receipt of an offer and to arrange for cable Internet service if needed. I think what I may do is follow the same path for the VA work, too. We have only a bit over a week before we depart this location and then 12 days of travel. I think I’ll take this time to rest, recharge my spiritual and creative batteries and enjoy our trip back to the Lone Star State.

Well, I actually do have an interview for another VA gig tomorrow, a possible opportunity that arose a few weeks ago. We’ll see how that goes. If it’s a match, I will, of course, jump on it.

These two job endings could be seen as setbacks and/or negative happenings and I could be very discouraged.

I am, however, hopeful.

“Really?”

Well, yeah, really, when I get in touch once again with my core beliefs.

I can see – envision – our new direction. I can see me doing medical transcription again, making a decent living and our having a laid-back and pleasant life, perhaps with Dave eventually doing some work for our site/pay somewhere. Yes, an enjoyable life, even in Texas.  (gasp)

I did it before, and my original plan (when contemplating going full-time as a solo back in 2003/2004) was to take my job as an MT on the road. At that time, I was a home-based MT living in Brenham. Sure, I put in a lot of hours at the keyboard, but I paid my bills and had enough left over to attend yoga classes once a week, have an occasional lunch out, keep my hair cut regularly, etc.  My critters never went hungry and neither did I. I also did more than just sit at the keyboard. Much, much more – cycled, camped now and then, did volunteer work, walked, took care of my yard and home, attended drum circles, taught Reiki on weekends, hung out with friends . . . you get the picture.

Why not have all that again? Well, not specifically those things perhaps (although I sure would dig hooking up with a groovy drum circle and I do miss teaching Reiki), but a well-rounded life with a profession I enjoy.

Indeed!

So, no, “Oh man, why is this happening?” but instead, “Wow. This is a whole new beginning!”

I can’t wait to see the reason for all this.

It’s going to be freakin’ awesome!

Thanks for stopping by!

What Are You Reading?

The grocery store we frequent has a Three-Books-for-$10 bin, and recently I scored three unexpected goodies.  One book each by W.E.B. Griffin, Clive Cussler and James Patterson.  I have made my way through Griffin’s different series, excepting Badge of Honor, enjoyed the adventures of Dirk Pitt that Cussler conjures up and curled up in blankets late at night with Patterson’s works . . .sometimes leaving a light on.  I haven’t started these new additions to our library, but am saving them for . . . a snowy day?  Hmmm . . .

Still having a balance on my iTunes card which was a Christmas gift, I downloaded Krav Maga by Boaz Aviram the other day.  This system of self-defense has piqued my interest for years; as much as over a decade ago, I toyed with taking classes while still living in Brenham.  I now wish I had persevered in doing so, as I don’t foresee that opportunity presenting itself again.  So.  I bought this book for self-education and just because I believe I will be able to glean some benefit from learning more about the system’s philosophies and techniques. 

Along those lines, when we got into our occupation of security work a few years ago, I purchased Israeli Security Concepts: A Comprehensive Guide For Selecting Training And Deploying A Security Team For Installation And Personnel Protection (Volume 2)While targeted for a specific audience, there are so many techniques and practices that can apply in everyday life and situations.  Interestingly, one thing I do already is back into parking spaces.  I have been doing this for . . . well, a long time.  I would say it started when I began driving larger vehicles – my Tahoe and now the “Beast” F-350 – as it seems easier for me to pull out versus backing, but I do recall doing it with my Honda sedan.  It seems to be something I began doing instinctively.  At any rate, I believe a civilian could pick up some valuable personal security tips from this book.

I just finished another Zane Grey work, The Mysterious Rider.  Never a fan of Westerns per se in the past, I do so enjoy his books.  He not only conveys the spirit of bygone days of life in The West, but the stories of people living those in those times and environment.  I’ve been hooked on these for a while now.  They are available free on iTunes, and I read them on my phone.

My personal library was quiet extensive prior to full-timing, but I did keep books which comprise a core of that previous collection.   Shaman, Healer, Sage is one of those, and I am revisiting it. 

Ha-ha!  Now you know one of the reasons I am not blogging every day.  As our work duties are much lighter here  and I have much more free time, I figured I might as well indulge in some reading and studying.

What’s on your bookshelf that’s getting your attention these days?

“We do not want riches.  We want peace and love.”

– Red Cloud (Makhpiya-Luta), Oglala Sioux, 1870

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

Thanks for stopping by!

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I am a Warrior

The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design