Winding Down 2016; Looking Towards 2017

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Holiday lights add cheer

Honestly, I’m looking forward to wrapping up 2016.  We’ve had the usual challenges of Life  this year and said good-bye to our sweet Maggie.  We continue to be grateful for each other, our home on wheels,  work, food, reasonable health for our ages, and so forth.  I’m ready, though, to put this year to bed and move on.

Speaking of moving on, we are in the planning and dreaming stages of transitioning to a new lifestyle.  We have had 6.5 years of living as full-time RVers, but – if all goes to plan – that time is coming to a close.  We are currently both working “normal” jobs (Dave in the community and me telecommuting as an admin assistant) with our home in an RV park.  We might as well be living in an apartment somewhere. 

While we experienced challenges from Mother Nature during our years in NJ as an on-site security team, Mother also provided us with rewards of the Spirit, magical and breathtaking moments, and memories for a lifetime.

Our souls were nurtured.   Our souls are currently starving.  Time for a change.

That, of course, is not the only reason.  We’re ready to get out from under the physical maintenance and related expenses associated with RV upkeep.   We want to sell the rig while it’s in good shape, before it gets much older.  The reality is that I need a home office, not just a wee desk in the corner by the kitchen, as my job has mushroomed over the past months and continues to do so. 

Workstation in RV August 2015

I find that violent storms make me uneasy in the RV, something which never bothered me before.  Of course, we had sturdy buildings in which to take shelter, something we don’t have here, and we primarily experienced snow storms, not the volatile thunderstorms and tornado warnings such as we get here in Texas.  We don’t feel “hitch itch” as in previous years, although we are looking forward to being on the road headed to our new location next year; we do miss seeing new places and the experiences that come along with traveling. Giving up the RV certainly doesn’t preclude a car trip by any means.   We’re tired of … people and traffic in large numbers.  We feel the need to be closer to Nature in a cleaner  environment, closer to wilderness.

So … the plan at this point is to sell the RV and move to a smallish town in northern MN, settling in a cottage within a 55+ community.   Maintenance-free living.  Simplifying our life and expenses again.  No snow shoveling!

Post wash street side 03162016

Will be  emotional selling our home next Spring.  She’s a good rig and provides us a cozy home filled with many memories. 

I hear you saying, “Minnesota?!  Northern Minnesota?!?!  But it’s cold up there!!! “ 

Yes, it’s cold up there.  That’s one of the reasons we want to go.  Having been back in Texas again this Summer, we realize we both need to be in a colder climate for comfort/health reasons.  We know about Winter in Minnesota, having lived there during  2005-2007.  Yes, it snows.    A  lot.  And it’s cold.  Really  cold.

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Walking around town and loving it – Hibbing, MN 2006

But you know what?   I have grilled outdoors with snow on the ground and more coming down.  Life doesn’t stop up there when it’s snow season.   We both still find magic in snowfall.  We miss walking hand-in-hand, hearing our boots crunching in the snow. The cold?  Well, you can always put on more clothes.  I’m a “sweater girl” at heart, and Dave is from Scotland.  There’s only so much you can take off when the mercury reaches 100+.  It’s a dry cold, too, and that makes a world of difference.  Trust me.

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Dave on one of our walks in Hibbing MN,  2006

Living in Minnesota is like … well, it’s like living in an entirely different country.  Seriously.  That’s what I thought when I first moved there in July 2005.  Obviously the weather is different.  Buildings are different, especially in the smaller towns.  It’s less ritzy and glitzy.  There is a unique and distinct Minnesota accent one hears.  We’re ready to be back in a small town.  Fewer people and less stuff  around,  enough to meet one’s needs (and ours are basic needs) – shopping, health care, etc. , and slightly larger and more prosperous than Hibbing, where we lived previously.   Where we hope to be is again in the northern part of the state – well north of The Cities – where there’s not much between us and Canada (again) except a lot of trees and a lot of bears.  I’m ready for clean air and clean water.  Fewer people doing stupid, rude, senseless, and violent acts.  I’m ready to return to an area where the predominant cultural influence is Native American.  My Spirit yearns for all this, as does Dave’s.  I’m ready to see Winter be so cold that it literally reboots Mother Nature for the next year.  I’m ready to be back someplace where we can pack a lunch and go out in nature for the day without having to drive and drive and drive and drive …

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Dave at the head of the Mississippi on our of our day trips – MN, 2006

No, it’s not Utopia.  There is no such place.  However, we believe that our quality of life will be greatly increased.

We are still active and vital, and not ready for your typical “senior community” and rocking chairs on the front porch.  Except for a lazy afternoon when the weather’s nice.  Ha!   We are, however, ready to live in a mature community where – hopefully – our neighbors share the same overall values as us.   Our age peer group, if you will.

It also seems fitting that we return to Minnesota, as that’s where we started our life together here in the States.

So that’s the plan at this point.   The logistics are going to be … interesting, at the least.  But hey, this is the same gal who in 2005, put her Texas property on the market, sold everything except bare necessities, loaded the rest in a 6×12 U-Haul trailer (with the help of awesome friends) and headed solo (but with 2 cats and 1 dog) to Minnesota to an apartment she’d never seen (picked out by an aunt and uncle), to a state she’d never been in, engaged to a man 4000 miles away with whom she had spent a sum total of 2 weeks.  All that was accomplished in less than 30 days.

MN move 2005

Loaded  up  with the help of these 2 awesome friends (and others), ready to head to MN – June 2005

This is doable! 

If’s  … if our assignment in NJ had indeed lasted another 3 years, if by some fantasy that job opened up again, if we indeed had been given another assignment shortly after returning to Texas … we would be carrying on in the RV lifestyle quite contentedly.  But … things don’t always materialize as one has been told.    If we’d known there would not be more security work, we would not have returned to Texas. 

We’ve given this a year.   It’s time to make other plans. 

A bit of envisioning and manifesting going on with this blog post.  We’ve always said we would like to eventually return to Minnesota at some point down the road, and we’ve been talking about making this jump for months now, but this is the first time I’ve put it in writing. 

So, positive vibes, a goal to work towards and look forward to, and hopes I retain a wee bit of my sanity while we get our ducks – errr …. Canada Geese, more appropriately – in a row.  The prospect of this new chapter in our life together is exciting!

What’s on your horizon for 2017?

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Maggie

 

Maggie Cedar Park TX March 2010

Our Maggie  crossed The Rainbow Bridge on October 25, 2016

Our Wee Widget, our Little Stumpy Legs, our Little Jellybean, our Maggie Mae slipped from this earthly life and crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully on the afternoon of October 25.  Her health had deteriorated in recent months to the point where her quality of life was such that we realized we were being selfish in keeping her with us.  Comfortable on her pillow, lights low with only my Bear candle glowing to light her path, Reiki music playing, and our loving and releasing her … she now awaits to greet us when our times come to cross over.

Maggie became a member of our wee clan on February 28, 2010, adopted from a shelter in Texas before we started full-timing. I suppose she came full circle, her journey with us ending where it began – in Texas.

It was love at first sight for her, Dave and myself.   I just know she was waiting for us, as we were for her.  Our previous dog, Baby, had passed less than a month previously.  Dave and I both know that Baby had a paw in bringing Maggie into our life together.  She was a transfer from another shelter, and her prior history was unknown.  She was shy at first,  and during those first few days sometimes would look at us as if wondering what Life held in store for her.

Those first couple of weeks were about trust.  Reassuring her that she was indeed home at last.  Reluctant to believe the food bowl and food were hers and hers alone, I hand fed bits of kibble to her.   A few at a time for several days, until finally she realized that this was her  food and no one would take it away from her.   We came full circle with that, too, at the end.   In those last weeks when she was too weak or tired to stand at the food bowl, I would hand feed her once again.   Such a bonding, sharing of love, such an intimate act …hand feeding one’s beloved companion.

Seems like she was with us about a week before she did her “business,” and we were about to the point of taking her to the vet until one day … yahoo!  I tell ya, Dave and I were so silly and elated, like parents whose child had just achieved the milestone of being successfully potty trained.  We still laugh about that even now.  Our funny Stumpy Legs …

Maggie Happy Face Sikeston MO 2010

The initial shyness didn’t last long, and soon “Maggie’s Happy Face”  was a  part of our daily lives.

We embarked on the full-time lifestyle in our RV a few months after Maggie came to us.  She loved traveling and seeing-smelling-exploring new environments and meeting new friends, human and doggie.  For her protection, she rode in a spacious crate in the back area of our truck’s cab.  The ultimate road tripper, she was so quiet we joked that she must be doing crosswords or knitting back there.   She checked out countless rest areas during our time together.  Enjoying the break, she was ever eager to get back in the truck and continue on down the road.

Everyone says their dog is a good dog, a smart dog.  Well, our Little Jellybean was that.  She knew various commands, a few tricks and bunches of words and phrases. “Want to go on patrol?”  “Want to go to the beach?”  Oh yeah, you betcha!  More than that, she was attuned to us and our routines, as we were to hers.

Maggie New Jersey 01102014

Maggie loved snow, and got plenty of that during our time in New Jersey

So many adventures this wee doggie had in our 6.5 years together!

  • She traveled the eastern third of the United States
  • Two hurricanes and Superstorm Sandy
  • One earthquake
  • Numerous blizzards and Nor’easters
  • Holidays at the Jersey Shore
  • Two National Military Parks
  • Countless campfires shared
  • Geese, rabbits, deer, bears, horses, cows
  • Went on patrol with us when we worked as an on-site security team and hung out in our office
  • Many more …

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Peek a boo!

The three of us were together virtually 24/7 ever since that day in February 2010.  She spent only two nights away from us during that time, both for medical reasons at a vet.  Our lifestyle afforded us the opportunity to be together.  Maggie was our constant companion, very much a member of our family.  Dave and I do not have children together, so I think Maggie was that child, albeit with four feet, a fur coat,  and a very pink tongue.

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Happy to see  Dave home from his bike ride

If Dave or I were away from home and would call the other, you could hear Maggie barking in the background.  She knew it was us calling!  So funny, our girl.

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On patrol  in South Carolina

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Maggie and me  at Gettysburg

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Fun at the beach house on the Jersey Shore.

Bedtime and mornings are the hardest for me.  Maggie would perform her “turndown service” every night without fail, even in her final days.  I would turn down the top comforter, neatly  (remember this word “neatly”) arrange my pillows and linens,  and place her folded blanket at the foot of the bed.  I’d go brush my teeth.  On my return …

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Maggie’s version of turndown service

She would move to the foot of the bed while I was getting settled under the covers but, once that was done, she would come back up to snuggle by my side or – in colder weather – between my legs.  It’s going to be a colder Winter this year … no Snuggle Bud warmth in bed.   No quiet “woof-woof” while she dreams doggie  dreams.  Waking up was snuggle-and-silly time, an excellent way to start each day.

Maggie and Betty South Carolina 102010

Raincoat, sweaters, parka, boots – Maggs was a well-dressed pup, ready for whatever Mother Nature had in store.  We had been told by a neighbor at an RV park they waited each day to see what sweater Maggie would be wearing.

Maggie was a joyous dog.  She lived totally in the moment … she was Mindfully Present in the here and now.  She awoke each morning in a good mood, was never cross with us, actually enjoyed being clipped (something I did versus taking her to a groomer), and tolerated baths, reveling in “crazy dog towel time” afterwards.  She was not a “yapper,” but would sound the alarm when appropriate, and I could say “Tell me,” and she would respond in kind.  Big bark or little bark, depending on what I asked she do.   She “sang” to us and made what we called “alien noises” – not barking, but her way of talking to us, yep, those “alien noises.”  Although provided with all types of typical doggie toys (including old socks, you know dogs love tug-of-war with socks) and encouraged to play with them, she never took an interest.  First dog I’ve known or lived with who just flat didn’t care for toys.  That being said, she would play with us

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Silly doggie

She had a few health issues throughout her life, but obviously declined in the past months.  Liver issues or cancer were suspects.  Various tests were inconclusive and cursory treatments provided no improvement.   She had lost a dramatic amount of weight,  one-third of her original 15 pounds. Talks with our vet confirmed the ultimate outcome, so we opted for quality over quantity.   As a two-time cancer survivor,  I could not  submit our girl to the horrors of chemo,  given her age and other health issues.  Dave agreed,  and our vet said she would opt for the same path with her dog. 

As she declined, much of my day was devoted to Maggie’s care – feeding her, lifting her up on furniture and into the rig, keeping her comfortable, and seeing to her other needs.  Since she has been gone, I have realized I was subconsciously sleeping with “one ear open” in case she was in distress during the night.  Yes, she was a lot of care towards the end,  as one gives to a chronically or terminally ill loved one.   I am now left with a void in my routine and have realized that I have been tired – not just physically but emotionally and spiritually.  

Now I go to the bathroom unescorted … you know that’s what dogs do, they hang out with you, just like you do with them … The silence of the lack of Maggie’s presence is deafening at times.

The vet here determined that Maggie was older than we originally thought and, looking back at photos over the years, I can see that she had indeed aged.  Among her other issues, she had cataracts forming in both eyes.

It was tearing us both up seeing our little girl’s decline in health and her infirmity.   Having been down this path so many times before in my 58 years, I was seeing Maggie give me “the look,” and I knew she was asking to be released.  I knew it was time to let her go.   We owed her so much more than being miserable … we owed her joy and love, as she had given so unconditionally to us.   We wanted our little girl to leave this world peacefully.  We did not want her condition to progress to … well, something terrible. 

I would rather say good-bye a month early than a day late.

We owed her peace.

Maggie 08202016

October 2016

Maggie was cremated, as we obviously do not have a yard for a burial spot.  When I was in hospital in 2012, Dave bought the wee doggie in the bed because Maggie couldn’t be with me.  Neither of us realized at first, but the doggie “breathes” courtesy of an internal battery.  “Gee, that is so thoughtful.”   “Wait .. is that dog breathing?”   That kinda freaked us and the nurses out when we first noticed!  It has been in a cabinet, but I got it out and attached Maggie’s tags to its collar.  Her urn is placed next to this slumbering doggie, in the spot where her crate used to be.  She used to sit on top of the crate, looking out the window and soaking up sunshine.  It was one of her “spots.”

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Closure and comfort

Maggie's urn 11022016

This Tuesday will be three weeks and I am still blindsided by tears at times as I was this morning, but we talk about our adventures with our Maggie Mae, and smiles come more than tears these days.  It will get better, and perhaps sharing her here will help, too.  I realized today that I have always written about Life events in my blogging.  Once a prolific blogger/writer, that has taken a back seat in the past several months.  I am hopeful this will be a catharsis of sorts for me … more closure.

I also hope you enjoy reading about our silly, joyous little Maggie and our time together.

One of the lessons Maggie shared was to live Life with joy and to be present in the moment.    I know she would not want me to be sad because of her, but to live Life as she did.

After all, this moment is all one really has.  There are no guarantees of anything else.

I’m working on that, Jellybean.

Will there be another dog in our lives?  I don’t know.  It’s too early.  Time will tell.

Maggie birthday morning 02242016

Maggie  Barnes, February 28, 2010 – October 25, 2016

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.

Maggie evening 05062016

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 . . .

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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!

DIY Project Done and Dusted

Quite some time ago, I removed the godawful headboard that came with our RV.  Paisley fabric . . . funky-looking and just a dust collector. 

 

Sans headboard 04102016

Not having time, energy, creativity or tools, I had not come up with a replacement, and the bare wall was starting to really annoy me.  Not to mention protecting both heads and wall when sleeping.

Thus began a search over the Internet for ideas on something to put in that space that would look better yet still be practical.

I found headboard tiles!  After reading bunches of reviews and tips on installation, I purchased a set.  They are 12” x 12” and can be arranged to suit one’s needs and whims.  I read that Command Strips worked well for adhering them to walls.  The adhesive that comes with them apparently does not work well and leaves a gluey residue.  All our framed photos are hung with Command Strips, so Dave picked up a few packs for me a few weeks ago.

The box of tiles has been sitting in the living room for almost a month.  With work and Life, I just haven’t had time or energy to tackle this project.

I played hooky from work this afternoon and got busy.  Armed with spirit level, measuring tape and pencil, I determined where the tiles would go. 

Discovered that those two lamps are not quite level with each other.  They aren’t off by much, but just enough to make ya go, “Hmmmm . . .”

Headboard 04102016

The tiles really are level and aligned.  It’s either the light from the window or, more than likely, me off kilter a bit.  I’m tired!

Yes, a standard layout.  I tried different configurations, but the lamps were in the way.  Ah well, it’s better than it was and finishes off the room.  I’d like to update the lampshades next (and the ones in the living room, which are exactly the same), but that’s a project for another time.  I’m not crazy about the duvet pattern, but the duvet itself works well for us.  Again, that will be another update sometime.

So, finally, that DIY project is done and dusted.  I’m thinking I might as well clip Maggie this evening.  She needs it (again) and I’ve already blown off most of the day.  Spending time with her is fun, she feels better with a clip and I’ll have these two major time-intensive projects done.  Then I can jump back into work tomorrow full-tilt.

Hope you’ve had a fun, productive and rewarding Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by!

February 10th, Really?

Well, I’m just about falling off the grid when it comes to blogging.  Once again it’s a record time in between posts, this time being almost a month.

Our days (and weeks) seem to pass by in somewhat of a blur.  I find myself occasionally stopping to ask myself, “What day is today?”  Crazy.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Our weekends are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Dave is still working at Walmart, really being “one of the gang” on his crew and even one of the long-timers by comparison.  I continue with my telecommuting as a virtual assistant and still enjoying that.  Our days and evenings are full, making the time we spend together before and after work (and our weekends) more special. 

Dave is now a fully permanent employee, so we’ve enrolled in health benefits and he is now accruing vacation time, although he won’t be eligible to take any time off until next year.  The health insurance is sort of a good thing and not so good thing.  A bit more expensive, but we’re now in a PPO vs. an HMO (via the Exchange) and there are some nice aspects of the plan we’re in.  It’s a bit scary . . . giving up some of our independence, so to speak.

One thing about this location; it is windy at least 9 days out of 10.  It’s reasonably flat here and quite open and, hey, it is Texas . . . so it’s windy. 

We’ve had a few warm days already, and I am really, really not looking forward to the summer months.  Mr. Sun hits the driver side of our RV all day; we’ll get to Lowe’s for some of the insulation panels we used to skirt the rig in Jersey, cut it to size and put it up on our big windows on that side.  Long before temps heat up.  I’m really only talking the side-facing windows in the slide-out on the street side.  There’s a small section of the big window that opens, so we’ll not cover that up.  Yes, it will make it darker in here, but that’s the idea.  Darker = cooler.  The door side of the rig is in shade all day.

Did I mention that we have changed out our interior lights to LED?  That’s excepting a couple of wall lamps.  The others that we use regularly are done.  I like the quality of the light much better and those puppies sure are a lot cooler, not to mention more energy-efficient.  Even though we don’t pay separately for electricity here, increased energy efficiency is a plus.

All that being said, I may be establishing my own private nudist camp in here during the hot summer months.  Well, not totally.  How about semi-clothed camp?  Ha!  And lots of quick cold showers.

The weather for our “weekend” (yesterday and today) this week has been pretty icky with nonstop rain.  So much for washing the rig again this week.  I did get out during a lull yesterday and headed to Office Depot in College Station.

Desk chair 03082016

A bit hard to tell from the photo, but that’s an ergonomic desk chair.  After snooping around on the internet, I found this model at Office Depot at a greatly reduced price.  I tested the display model, really liked it and was lucky enough to get the last one that was boxed.  Yay me!  I had an ergonomic chair prior to our full-timing in 2010; I sold it, as our rig had no desk and I didn’t need it any longer.  Well, now I have a desk and am spending quite a few hours each week working.  So.  Chair.  There are adjustments for height, seat tilt and lumbar adjustment and the armrests are height-adjustable.  I like it a lot so far.  I’ve always like the mesh-backed chairs, as they stay cooler and really are more comfy.

Maggie 03082016

What else to do on a rainy day?

One other item I picked up at Office Depot was something for Dave’s cycling documentation.  At this point, he doesn’t have a proper desk, but uses a small computer table that is just big enough for his laptop and nothing else.  He keeps stats on his cycling, so his “stuff” was ending up on the floor beside his recliner.  Ugh. 

Dave holder 03082016

Now everything is tidy and handy for him to use.  It looks neater in his area and the hassle of moving all this stuff every time I vacuum is eliminated. 

Every now and then, actually just about every week lately, I go through another drawer, another cabinet, take a sweep through the closet . . . and am sorting through/organizing items with the result that some go out the door. 

Seems I am feeling burdened by too much stuff these days.  From 2011 up until last October, we had an office at our work locations.  We could spread out a bit, and we acquired some items that were necessary in our line of work, including heavy clothing and outerwear for the harsh winter conditions in New Jersey.  Our lifestyle has changed, we no longer have an office and, at least for the foreseeable future, we certainly are not experiencing harsh winter weather here in Texas.  Being outdoors was an integral part of our security jobs, and that is no longer the case.

That being said, I can’t (yet) bring myself to toss out expensive insulated overalls, heavy outwear and other items for extreme weather conditions.  Heck, most of those items weren’t cheap and I have worn/used them now and then even in our new way of life. 

Maybe it’s just the onset of Spring.  I’ve even measured living room furniture and our space in here with the thought of rearranging our furniture configuration. 

My measuring tape says that ain’t gonna happen.

I look at what folks are doing to their interiors on some social media groups and . . . sigh.  Oh well.  Ours is comfy and not disgusting . . . just not “spiffy” like some I see.  Of course, I wonder about the added weight of some of the furniture additions these folks make and I’m really not into painting the walls or cabinets in here.

I also wonder how folks keep the interior of their RVs looking like a showplace.  Really?  Do they actually live there?  Do they put the toaster away somewhere when not actually using it?  Do they realize the added weight of that wood wine cabinet and all those bottles of wine?  Perhaps it makes a difference that we eat at home all the time and that we are still working vs. being retired.

Ah well.  In the meantime, I did pick up a new comforter for the daybed that ties in better with the colors we have going on and a new doormat that does the same.  Whoohoo!  I’m glad I put in curtains while in NJ and that we have changed over to LED lighting.  Those things help.

Still . . . I’d love to be the winner on a program “Redo My RV Interior.”  Ha!

No, I don’t want a new rig.  I like ours and there’s nothing wrong with it.  I’d just like to do something with the inside.  Hence, new comforter, new doormat, etc.  Little things can make a world of difference.

But . . .

If you hear of a program like “Redo My RV Interior,” let me know.  I just might apply!

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

What Day Is It?

The nature of the work I’m doing these days usually has me able to keep up with the date, but the day of the week sometimes escapes me.

A month has passed since my last post.  I’m pretty sure that’s a record.  We haven’t been doing anything but working, keeping the household ticking over and indulging in relaxing on our days off.

No complaints, though, really.  It’s just routine, and we’re grateful to be working.

Dave’s days off for the past few weeks have been Sundays and Thursdays, so our weeks have been a bit disjointed.  He grabs some bike time and some kickin’ back time (which usually includes dozing in his recliner) on days off.  We, or I, go out for groceries usually on Sundays.  I’ve spent a few of those days off cooking – for our partaking that day and concoctions for him to take as dinner at work.  We have decadently indulged in carry-out pizza a couple of times.  With him on a Sunday-off schedule, we have been able to catch most of this season’s Downton Abbey together. 

Brakes and oil change 01282016

On the lift at College Station Ford

Our truck was due for an oil change and systems check, so I spent one Thursday at the local Ford dealer.  Turns out the truck needed a brake job on the front, so I went ahead and had that done while there.  College Station Ford has a Quick Lane for oil changes, etc.  I was dubious at first, but it really was a no-wait situation.  Drove up, checked in and they got to work.  I was pleased with the experience all the way around.  Okay, it turned out to be a bit more of a whammy to the wallet, but I had known for a while the brakes would need servicing at some point in the near future, and this turned out to be it.  The back ones will need it before long, and we’d have them done before we’d hit the road with the rig on a long trip.  Just can’t take a chance with things like brakes – or anything, really – on the truck.  As Dave said, it’s our lifeline . . . for work, for moving our home, etc.  Gotta keep Truck happy and safe.

I tell ya, my two clients are keeping me busy, and I’m loving it!  I received a raise from one and my responsibilities with that client continue to grow.  My second client seems to be pleased with my work, and our relationship continues to become more comfortable as we get in a groove of working together.  I enjoy both clients and the work I’m doing, and I appreciate the opportunities with both.   The money comes in handy, too!  Yes, it’s turned into a “real” job; last week I logged 28 hours between the two.

Having worked from home for years in previous careers, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to do this again, albeit in different roles from before, this time around as an administrative assistant to both clients.  Seriously.  Trust me, I’m very thankful opportunities are out there for the finding and that I have marketable skill sets and related experience.  I’m grateful that I don’t have to go outside our home for work, that I’m making decent money, that I’m doing work which keeps my brain active and . . . I’m loving what I do!

Morning sunbathing 01222016

Maggie morning sunbathing.  She really enjoys this spot.

Although we have been stationary for periods much longer than the almost three months we have been here at Aggieland RV Park, this is the longest we have remained in an RV park.  I have had conversations with a two neighbor women, one who also works from home on their family business, and another who invited me to get together for walks when the weather becomes nicer.  We have seen some “interesting” human behavior but, all in all, this is a peaceful place.  The aforementioned behavior is typically exhibited by weekenders, not the long-term folks in residence.

While I’m typing this, one of my clients just added files to my Dropbox.  Yoinks!  Next project.  Sweet!  Never a dull moment.  Speaking of never a dull moment . . .

Faucet mishap 02102016

Impromptu fountain this afternoon.  The front end of our rig is peeking out from behind the Class A on the left side of the photo.

One of the two guys in the 5th wheel to the left of the “fountain” ran over the water connection in the empty site on their door side with his big pickup.  I heard a crrrrrraaack! and then the sound of rushing water.  Oops.  Park owner got plumbers out pronto and they fixed this, but it was rather impressive for a while. 

Who knew living in an RV park was so exciting?

We usually don’t have anyone parked beside us, but there is a rally of Class A rigs this coming weekend, so I think the short-term area (where we are even though we’re long-term) will be packed.  Those two Class A’s in the above photo arrived a few days early prior to the coming rally.

Dave felt rather punky a couple of days last week and I got hit with it yesterday, continuing into today.  Bones hurting, headache, bit of an upset tummy, low-grade fever and just feeling blah.  Not enough to go to bed, but enough to find me dozing in my recliner yesterday morning.  That’s unusual; napping after getting up?  Bizarre.  Still rough today, but work was pretty much caught up so I’ve had an easy day.  Tomorrow’s a day off, so hopefully I’ll kick this bug quickly and be feeling chipper again Friday.

Today was a gorgeous day out, but we’ve had numerous blustery ones lately.  Ugh.  It’s a rather open area here, so I think it is going to be windy here more often than not.  Oh well.  Thank goodness we’re on a concrete site with a patio and concrete streets when it rains!

Until Dave gets two consecutive days off each week, our life revolves around our work with a bit of chillin’ when we can.  We are ever hopeful that a security assignment may come up; we enjoy that work, find that we enjoy our solitude after being around people more lately and that our temperaments are suited to the responsibilities that come with those assignments. 

In the meantime, we’re hanging in!

Thanks for stopping by!  There’s no spell check, so excuse any errors!

Maggie silly

Maggie silliness