Mother Nature Enters Reboot Mode

Front porch view 11042017

Our view from the porch until April.

So.  Here we are.  It’s early November and this is what our world looks like.  We’re anticipating that the view won’t change hardly at all until April. 

Mother Nature has entered reboot mode.

It gets so cold here that Mother Nature literally reboots herself.  It’s like the slate is wiped clean with the subzero cold and snow, ready to start over again with the arrival of Spring.   I dig that idea. 

This is one of the many reasons we decided to return to northern Minnesota.  No, we don’t ski or snowmobile.  We don’t ice skate or ice fish.  Dave doesn’t put knobby tires on the bikes and continue cycling. I may  take a shot at snowshoeing at some point, but that remains to be seen.  That doesn’t mean we’ll be housebound for months.  Dave has a short walk to work.  I can still walk when feasible, i.e., not blowing a gale (literally) and conditions outdoors are tolerable.  One still gets out and about with errands or whatever, but I do try to schedule my outings to days when it’s not actively storming.  The main reason for that is it’s just less messy with bringing in groceries and the like when it’s not actively snowing.

Not only does one still need to run these types of errands, but you really do need to get out  during Winter.  It would be too easy to sit indoors and become a total hermit.  Even if it’s just a stroll around the parking lot a few times, get out and acclimate, embrace the environment.

I’ve been known to fire up the outdoor grill during snowfall when we lived in Hibbing years ago.  Almost surreal, that.

Towns up here are equipped for harsh (yes, I used the term “harsh”  ) Winters.  Snowplows are of the “we ain’t kiddin’ around” variety, with plows on both the front and side.  

Betty in snow 02132014

When we were on-site security in New Jersey – February 2014.  That’s me clearing a path. What amazing times those were.  What adventures.  What memories!  We’ve done stuff, ya know?

A year ago, we were in Texas probably sweltering in the 80-degree November weather, occasionally commenting that we wondered if we’d ever see snow again.  Perhaps that’s when our idea of returning to Minnesota at some point began to emerge.

So here we are.  Momma Nature is in reboot mode.  We have it easy compared to the photo above.  Living in a 55+ community, management clears sidewalks and parking lot.  We don’t have to buy propane to fuel the furnace in our townhome.  Dave doesn’t have to get on the roof to clear snow.  Makes a difference!

Experienced my first Face Time chat a couple of days ago, connecting with a dear girlfriend from college days.  We visit via phone now then, but the addition of video to our “yap session” was such a joy!  We carried on like a couple of … college gals … and it was such fun!  Of course, visiting with her always does my soul good, but this was just about over the top fun.  We’ll be doing that more frequently in the future.

Life percolates along smoothly, and I am very grateful for that.  Seems like I have a lot to be grateful for these days. 

Better water the plants, then get geared up for another work day.  Yes, working from home is another thing I’m grateful for every  day.


Blogland Seems Quieter …

When I started blogging about our adventures as full-time RVers, there were so many others out there.  Some were veterans and some were new to the life like us.  I was a pretty active contributor to “Blogland” for years, not only writing my own posts but following along with the lives of others doing the same.  One gets to feel you “know” others through reading their posts and mutual comments back and forth on each others’ sites. We even had the pleasure of meeting Phyllis and Leonard (My Own Highways in My Mind) while in New Jersey.  It does become a community of sorts, albeit mostly virtual.

The number of blogs I followed regularly has thinned out a bit, their voices becoming less frequent or altogether silent.  I know some have put down roots, either selling their RV as we did or using it for shorter journeys.  I have no idea what has happened to others; they simply stopped blogging.  I rarely posted from about 2014 until now; there really wasn’t anything to contribute with our being stationary in a park and with our life schedules.  

Anyhoo, my thoughts turn now and then to those who have drifted off into the mist of “Blogland.”

Sherry (In the Direction of Our Dreams), you asked about the garages here.

Detached garages

Some of the detached garages in our cul-de-sac

It’s not that we’re waiting for them to be built; we’re waiting for one to become vacant.  Most of the townhomes do not have a garage, but you can get one of these detached ones when they are available.  I mentioned in my last post, there was one when we put down our deposit (while still in Texas), but I didn’t anticipate downsizing our truck 2 days after our arrival.  Ha!  Silly me.  There are a few townhomes that have an attached garage, but the rent is quite a bit more and those naturally face into the parking lot.  We like our privacy, being on the back side of our 4-plex and overlooking the fields, etc.  Check back with me on that in January!

While we’re talking Minnesota, Winter, and living in both those …

Minnesota fire hydrant

 That stick is so the fire hydrant can be found in the snow.

Funny … we have relocated literally across this great nation of ours, leaving my native Texas where we had friends.  You might think I’d be “homesick” or feeling displaced a bit.  Not so at all.  This just feels like … home.  Home is not wood, mortar and bricks.  It’s … well … it’s wherever we choose to make our home.

A friend once remarked when visiting my hotel room during the solo trip I made years ago back to Texas from, interestingly, Minnesota – that I could be in a hotel room for 5 minutes and it looked like my home.  Yeah, I had a photo of me and Dave, etc.  Did the same thing during a hospital stay in New Jersey during 2012.  It was a scheduled stay, so I took my laptop, a fave blanket from a friend, and a couple of other things that give me comfort and strength.  The nurses said it looked like an apartment and not a hospital room.

It’s about having those wee things … that blanket from a friend, a special photo, or whatever … that bring a sense of grounding, peace, strength and comfort.

Well, I finished working a while ago and Dave is working late, so I’ve had this chance to visit with you a bit.  He’ll be heading home soon, so I’ll say ciao for now!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there!

“Together the two paths form a north-south road, the good Red Road.  This is your spiritual path, the one where you will be happiest.” – Medicine Hawk, Council Chief of the Shadowlight Medicine Clan


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.

Warren Glen 10102012

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!

T Minus 1

We ended up having fewer rainy spells today, so Dave took advantage of the wee break and loaded the bed of the truck this afternoon while I gave Maggie a good clip. She relaxed to the floor right from the get and enjoyed the pampering. She is such a funny puppy!

Earlier in the day, we went down the road a bit to the nearby Food Lion to pick up a few staples to supplement our road trip provisions. We had a nice dinner of fettuccini alfredo and a chopped veggie salad consisting of cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, green bell pepper and carrots with a wee dollop of Ranch dressing.  Oh! And a piece of Naan bread for each of us. Yummers!

The guy who is the regular here returned from vacation today and is parked across the street with his bumper pull. He’ll move into this site when we leave Thursday.

Tomorrow I’ll stow whatever I can, leaving just the last minute things to secure prior to traveling. I’ll dump our tanks and Dave will stow the macerator system and water hose, leaving us running off our fresh tank and hooked up to shore power only. We’ll also hitch up to the truck.

I’m keeping an eye on TS Joaquin, although I think (and hope) it will be a nonissue for us since we will be heading westward Thursday. Just a while ago, the forecast for Lexington, SC (where we will spend our first 2 nights) calls for heavy rain Wednesday night with conditions looking better starting Thursday (the day we arrive). Same forecast for here has the heavy rain coming in Thursday night. I am totally okay with this.

Sounds like the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico has fizzled out, and the longer range forecasts for stops along our route look downright decent with sunshine. Woot! I am really, really okay with that!

Of course, we all know it is prime hurricane season right now and storms can develop literally overnight. One of the advantages of having a home on wheels is being able to sit tight in place or get the heck out of harm’s way.

Speaking of which, looks like New Jersey will take a hit from Joaquin. If we were still there, we’d be prepping the rig for evacuation to higher ground, as we did during storms Irene and Lee back in 2011. We sure had some adventures up there and gained quite a lot of experience and knowledge in living with the Momma Nature.

Maggie is crashed out on a blankie atop a pile of pillows on the sofa bed here in the living room. She is cuter than cute when clipped, and I just know she feels so relaxed after some “spa time.” Did I mention she’s such a good dog? Others might fidget, whimper or even express displeasure with clipping, but not our Maggie. She digs it and gets into a Zen groove.

Well, what would you expect from a Lhasa Apso, eh? Buddhist monks and all . . .

Thanks for stopping by!

A Taste of Winter


Snow and ice 02242015


Winter does come to South Carolina, even if briefly.  It was snowing when I headed to bed around 2:30 this morning after my work shift.  Mostly what’s on the ground is ice, but there is a bit of snow here and there.  Nothing to speak of and certainly nothing when compared to this . . . .

Feb 13 Betty and Rig

February 13, 2014, in New Jersey

Tomorrow will be above freezing in the 40s, so we’ll venture out for propane and a few provisions before the next wee storm rolls in later in the day.

The past week has been relatively uneventful.  Maggie sailed through her dental procedure last Thursday.  I had a restless and pretty much sleepless night while she was overnighting at the vet and was glad to pick her up the following afternoon.  She took full advantage of being a lap dog that evening.  Yep, that was my purpose in Life . . . to provide a warm, blanketed lap to our Maggs while she recovered.  Good therapy for both of us.

The next project in my virtual assistant work has come along and I’m glad to be cruising along with work again.  There are lulls in between projects, but that’s okay.  It gives me some free time in the evenings for a couple of weeks and then things pick up again.  Nice.

We continue to play chess over the weekends, this past Friday and Saturday nights were truly epic matches.  Our games last 2.5 to 3 hours, which isn’t bad for a couple of amateurs just having fun.


We picked up this set in Rockport, TX during one of our holidays with our popup.  Gosh, that was back in June 2008.  We were in town prowling around and found this in an import shop.  It’s a stone set and thankfully came with a very nice case.  It was a bit of an extravagance at the time, but has given us so many evenings of enjoyment.  I was introduced to chess in the early 1980s in El Paso.  At the time, I was working for the Students’ Attorney at UTEP.  The attorney was an avid player and taught the basics to the intern and myself.  Dave has been an excellent player for “donkey’s years” (a very long time) and gave me proper schooling when I spent time with him in Scotland in 2005-2006.   I was a laughable player at the start, but he was a patient and supportive teacher, and I’ve progressed into a respectable opponent.  It’s fascinating to see each game evolve following our individual standard opening moves.  I won’t divulge mine, but it is a named opening move I found a while back when doing some research.  It seems to serve me well; Dave scores the most victories, but he’s an excellent player.  I do, however, give him a run for his money and put his king in some awkward spots.  My king has become bolder over the years and, when he goes down, he goes down fighting.  At any rate, it’s excellent fun and flexes the gray matter a bit. 

Funny . . . Dave remarked the other evening that when he gets in a tight predicament, he goes on the defensive . . . . but me?  He says I just keeping attacking.  Must be my Warrior nature, eh?

Well, Dave is catching up on some sleep that eluded him earlier.  I’m in the office with some afternoon quiet time; hence, this blog post.  I’m looking at nine more hours until my day winds down.  Caught up on work and personal paperwork yesterday and it’s totally icky out, so guess I’ll find some other things to occupy the rest of my day. 

“Whatever the gains, whatever the loss, they are yours.”

– Fine Wounds, Nez Perce

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior

The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design





Another Week Gone

We have been here in South Carolina for almost 4.5 months.  Some days it feels as if so much more time has passed than that and other days it feels like we have just arrived.  Not sure what that says.

This past week was another in a series of the same-old-same-old. 

Maggie is on prescription dog food, so I have made an initial appointment with a local vet for this coming Wednesday.  A meet-and-greet, if you will.  Once I have a prescription, I can order the food online and have it delivered.  This will be a huge help given the distance to the vet and our work  schedule.  I’ll also schedule an appointment for teeth cleaning for her and ask about getting some flea prevention.  We didn’t have an issue with fleas (none, zip, zilch) in New Jersey, just an occasional tick which I removed (and she gets the Lyme vaccination),  but I have a feeling things may be different in this location.  At any rate, I’m hopeful this will be a good vet and that Maggie will not be stressed with them; reviews are quite glowing, the person I spoke with on the phone was very nice and they have emergency services, a rare resource in this area.

Maggie had a spa day today, albeit with yours truly providing the pampering.  Gave her a very thorough clip during the wee hours of my shift Sunday morning and then a bath Sunday afternoon.  The weather here was quite warm, so we were able to do this outside.  Crazy towel time afterwards!  Fun!

Taxes are done and dusted for year 2014.  Yay!  That’s one less thing on my plate.

We certainly are saving money on dining out here, even given the modest number of times we ate out in NJ.  About once a month we would treat ourselves to a lazy Sunday breakfast at Perkins or perhaps a Sunday dinner at Applebee’s.  Here?  We have been out for a meal just once, to IHOP while out and about.  Again, our work/life schedule simply is not conducive to venturing off the property for meals or exploring the area.  When we do go out, it is to run errands such as refilling propane, to Lowe’s, for groceries, etc.  I get my hair cut once a month, and enjoy that wee bit of pampering.  Of course, Dave is off on the bike several times a week and I have a couple of hours of time for myself unrelated to errands off the property about once a month.

Yesterday I weeded out a few items – clothing and otherwise – and they went out the door.  I’m sort of in a paring-down mood.

It has been windy today . . . again.  I swear it’s either raining here or, if not, it is blowing a gale.  Rain returns tomorrow.  We have not had our awning out once here.  Strange, because when we were here for two months in 2010, we had our awning deployed and staked out the entire time.

We have had a couple of unsolicited initial contacts about other jobs; however, there has not yet been anything that has caused us to seriously consider leaving here.  Let me rephrase that . . . consider leaving this job, not this location.  We receive inquiries now and then, so this is par for the course.  Who knows?  Perhaps one day we’ll get an offer that will sound wonderful and we’ll be wheels up off to another adventure.

In the meantime, we’re holding our own and hanging in.  I feel like we’re in a holding pattern here, but grateful to be employed.  We play chess on weekends, and two of the games this weekend were absolutely our best yet.  If there had been an audience, they would have been on the edges of their seats.  Saturday’s match went for three hours.  Sweet.  I truly cherish our chess evenings.

Well, it will be time for my part of the night shift to end soon, so I’ll wrap this up for now. 

“I am not a child.  I can think for myself.  No man can think for me.”

– Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt), Nez Perce, 1840-1904

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior

The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design

Yes, I’m Still Here and This is a Long One

I totally bailed out of the WordPress Blogging 101 course.  While I would recommend it to beginning bloggers, the assignments were tasks I had either already tackled or ones that would take my blogs in a direction I did not wish to pursue.  So here we are, back to our regularly unscheduled, sporadic programming.

Being on a night shift schedule seems to leave me with less spare time.  By the time we get up, tend to Maggie, have breakfast and perhaps run an errand, it just about time to get back here and go on duty. True, I have a window of three to four hours at night (like right now) on my own, but these hours are spent working my part-time virtual assistant gig, paying bills, taking care of other personal business, etc.  Rarely are my solo hours a blank palette for creativeness or just goofing off playing solitaire.   

Toss into that schedule about two days of feeling fairly punky, and I have been AWOL from Blogland.  Some days I simply . . . got ‘nuttin.

So!  Since last time I ventured here, I had a hair appointment (yay! for a shape-up) and took a couple of hours one evening for a “me” errand off the property while Dave stayed here.  Gotta get off the property now and then for a bit of fun and be around other like-minded folks.

It’s interesting how food available in markets and the quality of produce varies from place to place.  We are finding that produce here is not the same quality as in New Jersey, especially lettuce.  One thing we do enjoy is fresh pasta, not the kind that comes in a box off the shelf.  Well, this is the first place we had not been able to find such and, let me tell you, we were ready for a nice plate of fettuccini Alfredo.  We could find fresh (refrigerated, that is) ravioli here but not fettuccini or linguini, even of the same major brand.  Weird.  Heck, even the Walmart up in Jersey had this, so we were perplexed why we couldn’t find it here in any of the stores.  We chalked it up to differences in culinary habits of different regions; after all, we are in the South now.  Too, the area where we are is a bit . . . umm . . . industrial?  other side of the tracks?  not as up-market?  On mentioning the lack of fresh pasta to our facility manager here, he reminded me of another market, Harris Teeter, over in the neighboring town. 

Tuesday evening I dashed over to HT and . . . oh . . . my . . . goodness!  I called Dave from the store after scoring two packages of pasta and told him, “This is a real grocery store!”  Fresh-baked artisan bread – they even had a kiosk just for that.  Honest to goodness meat and seafood counter where you can point to something and say, “Yes, please, I’d like that one.”  Scored several items that we had not seen here yet. 

The clientele was definitely more upscale and so were the prices, so we won’t be purchasing our toilet paper from there.  Ha!  For specialty items, though, it is a godsend in what has been so far a barren landscape devoid of yummies for the tummies.  On arriving in the parking lot, I remembered that we had been there once during our stay here in 2010.  I can see a monthly stock-up trip on future calendars.

Dinner Wednesday night?  Breaded chicken breasts and fettuccini Alfredo.  Yes, folks, I cooked and we actually partook of dinner together, a rarity in our time here. 

Let’s see . . . Dave spotted the two rogue dogs on the property Saturday,  thankfully out in the hinterlands and not in our personal space up front.  Still, it’s head on a swivel and I do have items on my person to defend myself when on solo duty at night.   We had Friday night chess and were slated to match wits again Sunday evening, but things were a bit busy around here (issues with the company trucks and a potential parker in the lot out front) and we rescheduled our chess time for Monday evening. 

Dave finally met up with the local bike club Sunday and truly enjoyed cycling in a group again.  He didn’t really have that up in NJ except at races.  He had hung out with this SC group during the two months we were here in 2010.  Yay for Dave!

This afternoon my Reiki table came out of the basement and I set it up in the our office suite. 

Reiki table in office suite 01292015

The table’s covering is a nice purple, but I always put this blanket on it.

Dave was the recipient of a half-hour session this evening.  While benefitting the person on the table, I also reap the positive effects of performing Reiki.  Dim the lights, put on my fave Reiki CD and away we go!  I purchased this table over 10 years ago when my Reiki work starting blossoming.  The frame is aircraft aluminum and very lightweight but sturdy.  While the legs are adjustable for height, the variance in adjustment is based on my height.  After watching other folks  struggle with heavy wooden tables, I knew I needed one I could easily transport.  Did a lot of research and found Astra-Lite.  It was a bit more expensive than others but I also knew I would buy only one Reiki table in my lifetime.   I tell ya, this table looks and performs just as it did when it was delivered all those years ago. 

It folds flat and and has a soft-sided bag but, even so, it takes up a bit of space in our RV basement.  Thing is . . . I’d ditch most of my clothes and a lot of other things before this baby and I would part company.  Who knows?  One of these days I may teach or see clients again . . . In the meantime, it’s back in its bag propped up against a wall here in the office awaiting the next session.

Discovered today that my Reiki site is not accessible via iPhones, although it can be viewed on laptops.  Apparently there have been upgrades to the site design software, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, which boils down to my having to go with the new version. (The old version is to be phased out in the near future.)  This means I will have to start over and build my site again from scratch.  sigh  Another project on the board for me.  Ah well, it’s a a labor of love.

I spent a lot of time building my site and, while it will be work to create a new one, I do enjoy this sort of thing.  I’ll just put on my geek cap and get into it.  Sometime in the near future, but not tonight.  I become rather immersed in a project like this, so it will have to be when I have a block of free evenings or a weekend to devote to it.

Okay.  Enough.  I’m outta here.  Thanks for taking the time to catch up with me!

“All things in the world are two.  In our minds we are two, good and evil.  With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly . . . We  have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart.  One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good.  So are all things two, all two.”

– Letakots-Lesa (Gray Eagle Chief), Pawnee, 19th century

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior

The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design