Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2/28/12-Unusual RVs & A Fire

Here are some pictures I've been wanting to share with you for awhile. I didn't see anything like this at the RV show this past Saturday. In fact, they didn't have anything out of the ordinary, which was disappointing. I've come to believe you can live in just about anything that matches your heart and soul, and meets your needs.

I saw this 1/2 boat-1/2 RV in the mid-1980s. See? My attraction to the RV life goes WAY back. ;)

Then there is the revolutionary VW Doubleback T5 California camper. Way cool if you have the $$$$. I'm sharing Jerry's pictures because he has the best I've seen of this vehicle.

Then there's the picture that I had hoped I would never see. I drove through my neighborhood RV park this evening and was going to ask them about their monthly rates. I wish I hadn't.

The satellite dish is still in place and I was amazed that the other nearby trailers weren't damaged. My greatest fear right in front of my eyes. Please dear wonderful readers, tell me this isn't common. My furry babies will be alone in mine during the day while I"m at work. :(

Monday, February 27, 2012

2/27/12 - The Road Is Long

Actually, the title of today's blog is from one of the greatest songs ever, IMHO.  I'm waxing nostalgic tonight.  Can't help it.  I'm missing those I've lost over time, male and female, and as was pointed out at the RV Show this weekend, I'm a girl.  LOL. And so, in true typical girl-fashion, I share the song that is on my heart tonight.  Rather appropriate for RV travels too, don't you think?  Enjoy.

(B. Scott and B. Russell)

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

He's my brother
He ain't heavy, he's my brother...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2/26/12 (2 of 2) - RV Show Pictures

I apologize for there not being any technical information in this post. There were 3 afternoon sessions I wanted to attend - solar panels, propane systems and kitchen appliances, but I'm sorry dear readers.... I require wide-open spaces.  A room packed with several hundred people, wall-to-wall, is not something I could tolerate. I was disappointed, but I will have to garner my technical savvy the good old-fashioned ways: friends, family & experience; and the modern ways: internet and eBooks. Trade show classes just weren't happening.

The RVs (non-trailer) at the show ranged from $85 in price to $840K, and there were only 3 that I would have even considered, even if I had all the cash sitting right in my pocket. The vehicles were all jammed too close together to get good pics so I googled and found pictures of the 3 I liked the best.

Note: This is not an endorsement for these dealers nor does it mean that these particular dealers were even at the show. It's just an internet image to give you a picture of what I saw:
I had the opportunity to talk to a lovely couple from San Antonio. They were looking at a toy hauler for their Honda Goldwing Trike. She was also a scrapbooker. I love meeting cool, like-minded people. What a treat! They answered some questions I had about going from standard bike riding to a trike. I'm realistic enough to know that by the time I can afford another bike, it will probably need to be a trike. It just can't possibly be the same rapture as the traditional two-wheel, but they both said the hardest thing to get used to was the flat turns, and it was definitely worth losing maneuverability to gain additional safety. Good to know.

They also said that they got their 1st RV through Craig's List. It was the same RV they had seen just 2 weeks prior on a dealer lot. Turns out it was at the dealer on consignment. Fortunately, they had walked the dealer lot on a Sunday when it was closed, and were not obligated to a salesperson. The dealer was asking $104. They bought it directly from the seller for $69. Lesson learned. Now if I can just find the same kind of deal, less a zero or two (LOL), I'll be good to go.

The one thing I absolutely did not understand is the obsession with TV. One RV touted a 96-inch outside flat screen. What the heck? You get away from it all to.... watch TV? I don't think so. No offense to those whose boat that floats, but it's certainly not my cup of tea. (had enough idioms yet? grin)

The one thing I learned and had not thought of was the significance of keeping the RV waxed. It's the little things, ya know? Must admit tho - not looking forward to that recurring task.

Smart cars were on display at every turn, $15-$18K.

They look like a tennis shoe to me, but quite handy for towing (or storing).

There were 2 features I saw that could be pretty nifty for families or for people planning on entertaining a lot (for indoor energy conservation).

Outside stove, sink and refrigerator

Access to the bathroom from outside
There were also a couple of things that I thought were pretty keen, but certainly not necessary.

Sliding pull for heavy objects & to reach the middle of the pass through-easy to operate and locked from either side.

An electric cooler with a light. I know, I know. I can hear all of you now. I said they were cool, not necessary, remember? LOL.
And then there was this. I absolutely cannot figure out why anyone would need to turn their toy hauler gate into a deck, even temporarily. Since when does good 'ole tierra firma not suffice? OMG! I bet Sassy and Bennie would have had a field day if they had seen this.  ROFLOL, busting a gut. (Sorry, had to use at least one more idiom.)

Like I said, I had a great time and enjoyed the show, but for a girl that will probably start out with a 20-30 year old RV and drives a 19 year old Buick, I found myself shaking my head in wonderment. A lot.

2/26/12 (1 of 2) - RV Show Schmo

Well, the RV Show was a blast. I thought about taking a drool rag with me but in the interest of not getting escorted out, I decided to contain myself instead. LOL.

Before I tell you about the show, I have to first tell you what it was like attending the show solo. I experienced some things that never in a million years would I have dreamed of.

Before that even, I must provide a disclaimer that there will be no pictures in this post.  They will follow in the next immediate post. Hence the title, 1 of 2.

Back to being at the show single and solo....

Throughout the week prior to the show, I got a lot of remarks from friends and family. The resounding theme was that they could not believe I was going to go alone. I relished going alone! Could not wait! I got to drive to the show whenever it suited me, parked in the boonies so I didn't have to fight traffic, looked at whatever I wanted to once I got there, for as long as I wanted to-or not, interacted when I wanted to, and set my pace to mosey or dash as it suited me. In short, I was in heaven.

I covered the whole show, every row - in 3.5 hours. And was perfectly sated. There were many dealers and manufacturers represented but only 2 that had display boards of "experienced" RVs available. Isn't that cute, "experienced" RVs? Very clever marketing.

I waited for the sea of people to part so I could look at the 1st board. While standing there, I noticed that the sales people and reps were talking to all of the couples and families surrounding the area, but not one ever even acknowledged me. Fine with me! I didn't want the hassle anyway, but I did find it to be an interesting paradox.

Then I looked at the board. There were actually 3, count 'em, 3! RVs on there that I would have been interested in. I wrote them down in my trusty spiral I had taken with me (yes, I know there are iPads, etc., that would have been a lot cooler to carry around but I'm saving up for an RV, remember?), and took a step back to wait and talk to a salesperson. Pen in hand, waiting, and they still did not acknowledge me.

Then it became an experiment. I waited a few more minutes then slowly started trying to engage them. I would wait until one looked at me and I would purposefully say hello. They completely ignored me. So then I got a little more assertive.

I would wait until they looked at me and I tried to engage them. You know, I'd hold up my finger (as if calling a waiter), or I'd raise my eyebrows and acknowledge them, just short of shouting, "Excuse me." Still nothing.

Finally, I waited until one was free and I belted out a good, "Hey!" He turned and looked at me as if I had magically appeared from nowhere. "Do you have a moment to answer some questions?" I asked.

He sheepishly looked around and said, "Sure." So I proceeded to tell him about the 3 RVs I was interested in. He listened, looked at my spiral, looked back up at me, and I kid you not, this is what he said.
"You're kidding, right? You said it was just you, but are you really interested in an RV?"
Since the show predominantly featured trailers, I thought he was referencing a self-contained RV vs. a trailer. So I explained my reasons for wanting a motorhome. He blinked. Then gave me a nudge with his elbow.

Wait for it.....
"Ahhhh, come on. You're really just here to find a husband, right? You can tell me."
I squinted and rolled my tongue around my teeth thinking how lucky he was that I didn't have a vice-grip in my hand. My return stare went flat and I waited for the message to get through. When he went a little ashen in color and quit smiling, I turned around and walked off. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me 2 or 3 aisles of walking before I actually cooled off. Then, when I realized the absurdity of the situation, I actually and quite literally laughed out loud.

From there I began to pay attention, to try to find another solo female at the show. Row by row, RV after RV, there were none. I even went to the food court to take a gander. None. Strange.

So then I began to see if there were any solo men (and no, still was not looking for a husband, LOL). None. There were men sans women but they were usually with buddies. And if I had to guess, the women were probably nearby. I was there almost 4 hours and never saw another person solo. Interesting phenomenon.

I found the 2nd dealer that had a display of used RVs. Again I waited my turn to look at the board. They had several I wanted to know more about and they indicated that they offered financing. Again the salespeople walked off and this time it was only to chat with each other. They weren't even busy! And one of them was a woman! I waited exactly 5 minutes as an experiment. They were on one side of the table and I was standing by the board. Nothing.

So this time, I walked up to them and said, "Excuse me. I'm just curious. Why did you wait on those families and not even say hello to me?"

All 3 of them immediately looked like guppies out of water, mouths opening and closing, gasping for air. The lady scurried off to get me a bottle of water, one man took off behind a nearby curtain and the other one apologized and asked how he could help.

The water was good and they ended up providing a lot of useful information (to be shared later). I actually wouldn't mind doing business with them if it comes to that (financing that is), but seriously? Come on RV world, you need to catch up with the 21st century.

2/25/2012 - Today's Array

Today was crammed with activity - not normal for me at all. This morning at 7A, I took my full-of-character Betsy (my car's nickname) to get 2 long overdue front tires. The need to do so is evidenced by this picture of the old tires. Scary, right?

You may be asking why I'm putting pictures of a tire purchase on my blog....

This blog is about my journey to the open road while living in grace. It is ground zero where rebirth and rebuilding began for me. This blog captures it all. It will be interesting to see how these bald tires contrast with the quality of life I will have as a fulltimer. The Before and After, as it were. And so they made the post.

I will one day look back, see these pictures, and shake my head in disbelief as to how destitute I was on 2/25/2012. I feel that with every fiber of my being. I  may be stone broke right now, but I am not downtrodden. I lack for nothing and am a very blessed woman, happy beyond belief and thrilled with the direction I am going.

In fact, people commented on it while I was waiting on my car. One elderly man flat-out asked me why I was so happy.  I thought it odd that he should ask because at the time I was typing on my laptop.  Up to that point we had had a few exchanges, but they were brief so his question surprised me.

I decided his curiosity deserved an honest answer.  So I beamed and replied that I was getting 2 new tires, had been kept safe until I could afford to buy them, was going to the RV show later in the day and was currently in the middle of writing a story.  He just blinked and scratched his head as if I were an enigma. I seem to have that affect on men.

After that, while at the register, a lady commented that I seemed really chipper for it to be so early in the morning. I just smiled and said, "I know. I can't help myself." I paid and was on my merry way.

I went back home and finished an order for a client, went to the RV Show in the afternoon (blog to follow), and then took the dogs to the nearby Preserve for a 3 mile hike and some much needed quiet time with nature.

I had less than an hour to spend at home after the hike because I had to get to my niece's and help stuff wedding invitations for her daughter's upcoming wedding. KJ is so excited and the cutest bride-to-be. Her mother can't believe her oldest daughter is getting married. There were 5 girls at the task. We talked and laughed a lot. Fun times.

To keep all this activity and the hoards of people I was around today from taking it's toll on me, I took mini-breaks throughout the day to stay centered. For example, while at home after the hike, I had just a few minutes to read something inspirational. I found the perfect spattering of beauty and serenity (here), on Wayne Wir's blog.  I sat for a few more minutes reflecting/meditating then took off for my niece's house.

In contrast, tomorrow will be spent in blissful solitude.  Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my day, very, very much. I just had to use some of the tools at my disposal to maintain balance:
my dogs, the hike, nature, remembering God (what I sometimes call check-ins), finding something beautiful and serene to focus on, routine temperature checks (honest evaluations of my needs and any modifications that may need to be made), and listening to some of my favorite, peaceful music in between it all
I will blog about the RV show tomorrow. Being a single, solo girl at the event was interesting, to say the least. Manana wonderful readers!

Friday, February 24, 2012

2/24/12 - Freedom and Fun

There are 2 more reasons I want to live in an RV full-time: Freedom and Fun.  It is the same 2 reasons that made me fall in love with driving a motorcycle.  I miss my motorcycle.

Sidebar - Here is a picture of Nonni and Bentley. They are enjoying their early evening romp of freedom and fun. They had a good time even though they had to stop and pose. They are saying, "Mommy, hurry up and get better with that camera. We're too cute for bad pictures!" :)

Someone told me recently that they thought I would be a boring, schoolteacher, marm person. That made me cackle. She was partially right. After all, I did teach school for awhile, but boring? Never! And I've been called a lot of things but "marm" has never been one of them.

So, to honor the theme of Freedom and Fun, here are just a few pics of things I enjoy doing and hope to do again one day - in the not too distant future. And yes, that is me in each of these. ;)

Parasailing. The 1st picture was taken by my friend Cindy from the ground. The 2nd was taken by me while in the air. They were not happy with me for letting go of the ropes to do that. What I could never figure out is how they knew? LOL.

Scuba Diving. I am hovering to take a picture. I am NOT touching that precious, huge, gorgeous sponge. Yes, sponge. Thank God most countries have passed laws to stop the harvesting. Scuba Divers' motto: Look but don't touch, not even a little.

Motorcycle Driving. See, the problem with driving is that I'm always taking the picture while on my bike - not in the picture. So I thought it would be fun to show you pictures from that perspective. Can you guess what State I was in when I took these?

See you on the open road soon my wonderful readers.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2/23/12 - Jogging and Why?

As I came home from work I rounded a bend in the road near my house and nearly plowed in to my roommate. He was jogging with my two furry babies. I'm just joking about the plowing into them part, but as you can see they were definitely out for a jog. What a nice surprise! I am quite pleased with the picture taken quickly with one hand from a camera phone, them on the move and me coming to a stop. :)

When they got home my dogs were so happy! I'm getting healthier, but their mom is definitely not a jogger. Yet. And I say "yet" because, if I know anything, it's that I never know what the future will bring.

I couldn't wait to show my roommate my coupon for a ticket to the RV show this weekend. He thinks I'm obsessed. He's right. LOL.

He asked me, "Why do you want an RV so badly Mrs. Debra?" He calls me Mrs. Debra. When I asked him about it one time, he just shrugged and said, "I don't know Mrs. Debra. To me, that's just your name." And so it remains. Too funny. It's endearing though. I love it.

One of the ladies at work said that if they lived in an RV it would be to get rid of all their stuff, have minimal bills and not have to clean so much. Everyone laughed.

Some people live in their RVs for the adventure, the travel, the nomadic lifestyle. There are as many reasons for RV living as there are myriad people.

It's all good. For me? I want communion. I look forward to finding harmony, serenity, an accord with God, nature and myself. I look forward to the ways it will amplify my gifts - not the ones I receive, the ones I can give...... the ones that get lost in all the noise of my current day-to-day living. Writing is a good example.

I look forward to solitude. I look forward to meeting new people and developing fellowships with like-minded souls. Then solitude and communion again.

I look forward to discovering the universe that I don't know - not just new, peaceful, beautiful places, but the realm that seems to lie just beyond my reach. It's there. I can feel it, and I can hardly wait to discover it.

To skeptics, that may seem like an awful lot to pack into a little old RV, but that's what will happen. Tick-tock. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2/22/12 - Surprise Ending

On my way home from work today, I stopped by Cedar Hill State Park (sans the puppies) for some sunshine and much needed communion with God. It was wonderful to be alone in reflection and introspection. I sat right on the water's edge and filled my soul. I am so blessed.

It occurred to me that I am also lucky. I live right by this park and get to drive by it every day on my way to and from work. On any given day I can pull in, use my State Park Pass and enjoy views like this. Until I get my RV, this is definitely a sweet compromise.

My Goodbye Picture
There are also other intriguing spots along my route to work. For example, I work just blocks from Six Flags, Texas Cowboys Stadium and the Ranger Ballpark. This sign is on the corner by our warehouse.

The Big "Domey" Thing

I also get to drive by this titillating place every day.

And last but not least, this place. It is a HUGE park. I drive right by it every day and sometimes I drive through there just to get my RV fix.

Which leads me to the title: a surprise ending. Are you ready? I found out today that at the end of the year I will receive a company bonus.  How great is that?!? Guess where that money will go? Good guess! I may already have it before then, but by the end of the year, I will definitely have my wonderful home on wheels.  I told you 2012 Rocks!  :)

That was MY surprise. Now here's one for my wonderful readers. It has been 4 months to the day that I created this blog and I can honestly say I am flying on the wings of eagles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2/21/12 - Ready, Shift, Go

I have had many shifts in my life lately, especially this past week. As I've said before, God is in charge and I'm just holding on and enjoying the ride. And what a ride it is!

My niece came over the other night to pick up Sandy, her dog who had stayed overnight. She looks a lot like a sandy-colored Bentley, don't you think?

My niece walked in the living room, bent down to pet Sandy and within seconds she asked, "Where is your sofa?"  I just grinned and calmly said, "Gone." (<-- Don't you just love that picture on my January 30 blog? It cracks me up every time I look at it.)

I waited. My niece looked around the room a little more. "Where are your bookcases?" Her voice was rising in pitch as she stood up.  I again replied with tranquility, "Gone."

Without finishing her survey, she looked at me with a surprised look on her face, eyes wide. I almost laughed as I explained, "They won't exactly fit in an RV now, will they?"

Then, in acceptance, she laughed, "I suppose not." And continued, "But why would you be getting rid of things now? I thought it was going to be at least a year or two?"

My timeline has moved up folks. I wrote the following paragraph on January 22:
I am at a time in my life that feels similar to the moment at a theme park when you step off the platform onto a thrill ride. You sit down, buckle up and hold on. I have no idea what lies ahead. I only know that it is coming at me fast, I am steadfast and secure in my seat (holding hands with God), and I am enjoying every moment of this glorious ride.
It still feels that way. A friend pointed out that I don't have to wait to be established with a mobile income to get an RV.  I can get one now and live in it while still on my j.o.b., take off on weekends for day-trip excursions, and learn the ropes. His remark coincided with an idea that had also recently occurred to me.... Now that I work in a warehouse district, there is plenty of parking space for an RV.  Hmmmm... The seed grew. And now it's official, I've been given the God nod that it won't be long. I don't have a clue as to "how" it is going to happen or when. I just know it is going to occur sooner than later. The event is imminent.

This past weekend I was blessed to have the opportunity to visit again with Glenn before he leaves the area entirely. As a result, I also had the extreme pleasure of meeting Wayne Wirs. As a spiritual neophyte and a mere boondocker wannabe, I was thrilled that the two of them shared a part of their world with me for ANY length of time. Thanks guys - it truly was an honor.

As would be expected in that company, we talked about RVs and God. I've talked about God nods quite often throughout my blog. The thing I find to be most prevalent for me right now is that the closer I get to living the life I envision, the more intense the God nods get - in volume and frequency.

I was asked recently if the God nods are a voice I hear. And for those who know me personally, you can stop the chortles, they weren't implying I need to be on meds.  :)  It was a genuine question and other than being able to say the nods are not voices, I really didn't have an answer at the time. I do now. They are an audible communication with great clarity, but they are not "voices" from God I hear, they are more like voices I feel.

That's how I know the timeline has moved up, in spite of me. LOL.  I feel it. It's not a feeling with an emotional attribute. It's a knowing.

I called today about an affordable RV listed in craigslist. It was already sold. There will be another, as many as are needed, and I will know mine when I find it.  It will be a gift from He/She/MY God, just like this whole journey has been to date.

I honestly cannot believe how much my life has changed since October 22. It's overwhelming at times. Then I remind myself that I'm not in charge, I'm just along for the ride. All I need to do is hang on and keep listening.

And so it is. I'm ready. The shifts continue to multiply exponentially. And I'm good to go.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2/18/12 - New Wonderful Readers

I am always so thrilled to have new, wonderful readers join us. I'm a few days behind in welcoming some of our new readers and I apologize for that!  Welcome to:

MadSnapper. I absolutely love the photography you will find on this blog. Plus, she’s the one that made Nonni famous! Welcome Sandra; I’m honored.

Fred. He doesn’t have a profile listed, but I noticed that he follows another favorite blog of mine, “Traveling with the Longdogs”  I don’t have my RV yet Fred, but I’m glad you’re here. Welcome!

Ed. He joins us from Deerfield, IL and his profile states, “Grandpa's my name, spoil'ins my game.” How wonderful is that?  And happily married for 40 years - gotta love a family man. Check out that beautiful picture of his grandbabies. Welcome Ed!

Tina. She doesn’t have a profile or blog listed, but I can tell you that I enjoy reading Tina’s comments she has left on other blogs. Welcome Tina! Glad you’re here and I look forward to hearing from you.


2/18/12 - Rising To The Top

Does anyone have any statistics on how many full-time RVers there are (on average), per year, in general.....  anything?  I researched it before posting this entry and couldn't find anything solid.

I researched it because there have been more than a few people lately that seem to think since I do not have my RV yet that I am not serious about the lifestyle. Well, first of all, it was only 4 months ago it became a goal of mine! And yes, I realize that 4 months is an entire 1/4 of a year, but give me a friggin break. These people are not shy about intimating or outright saying that they also do not think I will ever accomplish my goals.

It got to me for awhile. I let self-doubt creep in. I began questioning my action items and timelines and everything else. No more.

OR 2 OR 3 OR 4 OR ANY!

Maybe I was a bit premature in letting people know what I want to do, but I WILL accomplish my goals. I said from the beginning that it may take me 2, 3, 5 even 7 years to amass the cash necessary to purchase an RV outright, but I will do it.

I would imagine that a lot of people will come into and walk out of my life in that time frame. I hope you're not one of them, but I'm okay with whatever my life looks like when I get there. I'm enjoying the journey along the way. If that is taking too long for you, then mosey on and come back if and when you want. Or not. I'm good either way.

I do realize that in order to accomplish my goals, my priority management needs to change and I have to make better use of my time. Which means some things are going to have to go. I'm not sure yet what I need to do but here is a partial list of all that I have going on and am trying to juggle (and no, it is not in a particular order so no lectures please):
writing, my 2 online businesses - product development & marketing, my j.o.b., my pets, household maintenance/upkeep, social media, continuing education, development of an online store, financial/record management, culling/simplifying/selling, faith, fun, family and friends.
I'll figure it out, but I'm also open to any suggestions my wonderful readers may have.

Love, hugZ and blessings to all. Keep the Peace "y'all". ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2/16/12 - Met My Hero

I met the coolest kitcat tonight. She was in the middle of dinner and wasn't too conversant, but she was very friendly and very pretty. I wished her a happy early birthday because she'll be 18 next week. To be so famous and have such star status, she was very gracious and I enjoyed my time with her.

She was also very kind and let her human take me out to dinner. It was such a treat to meet Glenn and be able to thank him in person for all that his Yahoo article and blog have done for me (see my 10/22/11 post).

We had a great time and no matter what he says, I do NOT have an accent. LOL.

And Glenn, hopefully next time we meet, I can park beside you in my own RV! Forget the curse - I'll be the exception - you'll see. ;)

You are a wonderful person and it was truly a pleasure sharing some Texas barbecue with you. I had a great time. HugZ to you and Miss Emily.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2/14/12 - Happy Valentine's Day

May you feel blessed and full of love today. Virtual HugZ from me to you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2/13/12 - Pioneers & RV Living

Over the years, in addition to therapy, I have read countless books, and attended hours on hours of seminars and conferences - all to learn about the brain. My studies have specifically centered on depression and the mental health issues in my family; and then later, after my injury, issues concerning traumatic brain injury (TBI).

In addition to my biology degree, all of this research and study should also qualify me for at least an associate degree in neurology. I can hold my own with just about any professional - ph.d., m.d., or d.o.

One of the best neurobiologist that I know is Dr. Caroline Leaf.  I love how she ties the physiology of the brain to thought --> emotion --> action. She is also a pioneer in proving how negativity and toxicity impair the brain. More importantly, she teaches how to repair damaged pathways and neural networks. Needless to say, I'm a fan.
Dr. Leaf's website states that she is specifically focused on the cognitive neuroscientific aspects of TBI/CHI (Traumatic brain injury/Closed head Injury) and the science of thought as it relates to thinking, learning and renewing the mind, gifting and potential.
So it was with great interest I read one of her recent statements: "Long-term lifestyle changes require a combination of realistic expectations, internal motivation and achievable action plans."

The entire premise of this blog, of my epiphanies, and all of the effort I put in to each and every day, revolves around the fact that I want long-term lifestyle changes. That was the sole purpose of creating this blog to start with.  So I decided to analyze the rest of her assertion.

My expectations are to one day live full-time in an RV while making a mobile living - hopefully as a writer, but I have back-up plans just in case that doesn't happen.

Are those realistic expectations? Honestly, since I currently don't have a penny to my name, I'm not sure. I just know that's what I want. Which leads to the next segment of her statement.

That I have oodles of. God-given, God-driven with tons of energy to spare. Okay, check.

My action plans are achievable. I guess the real question is, will they help me meet my expectations/goal?

J.O.B. - I now have a low-stress, no overtime, no drama job with benefits. Check.
Writing - I have committed to enter a writing contest each month for 2 years and am on track for that. Check.
All Things Photo | All Things Admin - These are my two online business that are to help me create a mobile income and achieve my goals. I've joined the Chamber, am networking, promoting, taking CE courses for craft improvement, working nights & weekends - doing everything I can.  But is it enough?
Organizing/Culling - My original goal was to do something daily to move toward this. Because of the 3 action items just listed however, my new goal is to do something at least weekly in this category.
So there you have it.
Will all of this get me the long-term lifestyle change I want?
I don't know. You tell me wonderful readers.
What do you think?

What I do know is that there are some amazing women out there that have pioneered the way for me, and I want to join them one day. A huge thank you to Sassy and Bennie for posting this newsclip about pioneering women living full-time in RVs (click here to watch). Women like the ones in this story, and the ones whose blogs I follow, keep my dream alive. They are my heroes.

I guess if all else fails, me and my 3 furry babies can live in this. Ha! LOL. What do you think boondockers, would this suffice? :)

Mini Cooper RV Living

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2/12/12 - Nonni Is Famous!

Hey everybody! Nonni is famous! Here's a glimpse of her 15 minutes. Well, it's more like 43 seconds on a video I made, AND her spotlight moment includes a shout-out on a very popular blog, but you get my drift. To her mommy, she's famous! :)

Sandra, the MadSnapper is an incredible photographer and she saw my post about Nonni being a heater hog. Then one thing led to another. Wait until you see the pictures Nonni inspired. They will crack you up! Great job, as usual, Sandra --> Sandra's new toy - thanks to Nonni.

And then you can go from Sandra's incredible work to a video I made of Nonni. I title it: Nonni finally warmed up! It only took her 3 days but she was finally done with the covers AND the heater. Her shenanigans had been going on for a couple of minutes before I remembered to grab the camera. She had even flipped the bed twice by the time I started recording! :)

By the way, thank you Maria for helping me today. I can't believe I now have a YouTube account! Folks, there's just no stopping me. I'm on a roll. :)

I'll get better with the quality, in my videos and photos, I promise. And who knows, maybe one day while on the road in my RV having amazing adventures, I may even be able to hold the camera with one hand, feed animals, and add titles and text afterward like my blogger friend Don. Click here to see him feeding a flock of seagulls. Wow.

OK. Back to work for me. Will post more and catch up with everyone this evening. Have a great afternoon my wonderful readers!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2/11/12 - I Worked Hard Today

I got a lot done today. I finished a project for a client, got the yard done (smart me - picked one of the coldest days of the year - grin) and cleaned up my email. Make that emails, plural. I consolidated 9 email addresses down to 2, and in the process I sorted and organized and deleted over 900 emails! What is up with that?!?

I told you before and I'll say it again - I have a LOT of culling and simplifying to do to get ready for RV living. To say the least, right? OMG!

But I am so glad I took time to do all of that today because guess what I found?  I can't believe I almost missed it because of all the crap emails I've signed up for over the years!! BTW, I cancelled 24 subscriptions to said crap emails today, and probably have many more to go. But at least now I can take care of future cancellations as they come up. I mean I should be able to, since I'm like, I don't know, down to 2 email addresses with only 80 emails sitting in my In Box vs. 900!  I still can't believe I allowed them to get so out of control!

But I digress..... back to the treasure I found..... are you ready? .......

TA DA..... I am in the running for the final round of the short story competition I entered in November!! "The Blue Lady" is a contender!! How great is that?!?

I am so excited!!!  I bet I don't get ANY sleep tonight!!!

The email came in on January 24 and I almost deleted it today because it was from a strange address, but then I noticed the subject line, "Writer's Digest Short Short Update."

I am so excited!!! (<-- bears repeating, evidently)

That same email said that Top Award Winners will be notified via email by February 29. It made the mind-numbing scrolling and moving and deleting and creation of pop messages all totally worth it. I may not get that follow-up email for Top Award Winners but it doesn't matter. This one put me over the top! :)

Celebrate with me, won't you?  Woohoo!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2/9/12 - It's A New Day

I just can't get this Michael Buble' song out of my head! Feeling Good is definitely my theme song these days. :)

Someday I SO hope to see him in concert! Josh Groban too! I have so many hopes and dreams and I just know they're going to all come true. Wonder where I'll be when I meet them? ;)

I had a grand time last night at my nephew's birthday party. I am really going to have to remember to carry a camera with me! These were taken with my phone - again. I apologize for the quality - again. It's a good thing I don't claim to be a photographer! LOL.

Since I went out last night, I got up at 4 a.m. this morning to begin work on a photo alteration for my latest client. Isn't that awesome? I am so blessed! This particular customer is my first internet client. I cannot wait to send her the final product. It's a picture of her son graduating from the University of South Africa, and I'm working really hard to make it absolutely perfect for her. AND, I'm enjoying every moment. :)

Anyway, at 4 a.m., it was cold here (32 degree F).  So I turned on my little floor heater. After awhile, I couldn't figure out why my legs were cold since I had the heater on. When I turned around to check it out, this is what I found...

Isn't she too funny? I ended up having to turn the heater off because she absolutely would not leave it and I was afraid her hair, as short as it is, was going to burn! I covered her up with 2 blankets and she seemed happy enough. You'd think we live in Alaska. LOL.

BTW, the picture of Nonni, the heater hog, was taken with my laptop. I was afraid if I moved to get the camera or my phone, she would abandon ship. As it turned out, I think my laptop takes better pics than my Android 4G! What do you think?

Well, my wonderful readers. I had best get back to work.  So far, since launching my business on January 15, I have completed projects for 5 clients and have 4 in queue. Not bad for my first 3-1/2 weeks! :)

Tomorrow I hope to take some nifty pix of some cool scenes along my route to work. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2/4/12 - A Day Off

Hello my wonderful readers! Guess what? I took a day off. For fun!

It is the 1st day I've done that since, well, I don't remember when!

Oh yeah, and I got my brakes fixed! A great day all the way around, indeed.

My sister picked me up at the mechanic shop, and we went to breakfast.

The we went to the movies. We saw, "One For The Money." A good show, not great but we thoroughly enjoyed it. The movie follows the book closely and Catherine Heigl did a great job - even as a brunette. Ha!

Before going in to get our seats, we clowned around with a poster they had in the lobby.

And that's it for me today. Oh yeah, wait... I cooked pork loin this afternoon in my crock pot. Hang on everybody, the world may end! I cooked TWO days in a row. LOL.

God bless you and yours. xoxo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2/2/12-Bye Bye Vintage. Hello New-ish.

Okay, Glenn and/or Maria - I know this isn't Paleo and could certainly be a lot healthier I'm sure, but at least it isn't pizza or fast food!  I actually grilled a steak tonight! Me! I was in the kitchen!

I broke down and broke out my very vintage (one of the original) George Foreman grills and cooked. The other miracle is I actually went to the store and bought the dang steak. And that's the real issue. I hate shopping! Of any kind, and I especially hate grocery shopping. So there. I've outed myself. I lack in this domestic area. Actually, I think if I could hire someone to do the shopping, I wouldn't mind cooking. I enjoy that part, but I will go as long as I can before I go to the store  - which means I hardly ever have any groceries.

SO, if I'm going to start eating healthier - and I am - then I've got to suck it up and shop. Yuk! But man was it worth it. Yummy! Is there room in an RV for a vintage GF grill?

Since I am spending a lot of time sitting in my desk chair now (doing computer work for clients, thank you very much, grin), I had to lift my moratorium on not buying anything non-RV related. <-- Wait, 2 negatives make a positive right? SO, it's not that bad. LOL.

My wonderful, beautiful, full of character vintage chair has to go bye-bye. Isn't she adorable?

However, those springs that you can see through the seat cushion had become a tad uncomfortable. If you know what I mean.

SO, I found out from one of my co-workers the location of a nearby used office furniture store and went by there after work. I was disappointed with the lot. There was nothing there with 1/2 the personality of my teal brocade vinyl on lime green metal baby, but I found something that will suffice.

SO, the guy helps me load my new, used chair (which is actually more dark mauve than the picture shows) into my '93 Buick with burgundy velour seats (yes, velour!), and once he gets it loaded he just stands there for a second looking at it. Then he turns to me and says, "Well, at least it matches." Then politely walks off.

What the heck was that supposed to mean? Did he think I was going to leave my new-ish chair in my vintage car? I drove off laughing so hard I got tears in my eyes. You should have seen his face. I think maybe I will take him my vintage chair and ask him if he wants to sell it. I wonder what he would say then?  ROFLOL.