Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10/31/12 - Trick or Treat

These two cuties were sitting side-by-side, just like this (sans the pumpkin), on a shelf in an antique/gift store we visited this past weekend.  I couldn’t believe it!  So, trick-or-treat, can you name them?

Hint: it’s not Bentley or Nonni.  You may have to visit these blogs to figure it out.  If you do, be sure to say Boo!  Bwahhh!  Happy Halloween.

Mad Snapper, Mom of ??

Four Paws, etc., Home of ??

Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/12 - Monday, Monday

My sister Sheree, me, and my BFF, Carolyn
We had a great, great time this weekend!  This is a picture of us on the steps of our B&B, and I can't wait to tell you all about it, but that will be my next post.  Monday is reserved for DWTS at my house....

or not....  ROFLOL!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

10/27/12 - Falling

Granted, September 22nd, was the official 1st day of Fall, but the weather just now feels like Fall here.  I am so excited that the cooler temps have finally arrived that I had to capitalize the Season!  LOL.

And the new and improved change is just in time for a getaway weekend.  I am going with my sister to meet my best friend at a B&B for a craft fair in a town known for its antique stores.  Am I going to be in heaven or what?!?

So, I am taking Sunday off from blogland, but I won't be resting!  Ima playing!

Friday, October 26, 2012

10/26/12 - My Election Contribution

Like it or not, love ‘em or leave ‘em, this election year has impassioned the nation.  People that have never given politics a 2nd thought, or who may have never voted, are jumping on the bandwagon of weighing in on this campaign.  Positive or negative, right or wrong, this is the most heated and discussed political race I can recall.  I could do without the venom that some feel the need to spew, but it has been encouraging to see the country ignite with passionate beliefs and political activism.

This post is my contribution to the hullabaloo, but it is NOT a political statement.  Please feel free to leave a comment, but fair warning:  if it is a slanted comment with negativity or toxicity, it WILL be deleted.

Frontline recently presented a great, unbiased documentary on our two primary presidential candidates.  If you want factual insight and history on their lives, this is your ticket.  You can watch the video [here].

If your taste runs more along the lines of, “Mehhh, no thanks,” then maybe you’ll enjoy my last short story: Happy Birthday Mr. President.

Or, you can try a quiz to see which 2012 presidential candidate you side with [here].   Mine turned out to be a name I had never heard, from a party I didn’t even know existed!  Bwahhh!

The “Get Out The Vote” picture at the top of this post is from TX Attorney General Abbott’s office.  I went to High School with Greg.  Trust me, he is proof there really are good guys in politics.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to head to your polling place.  If you are eligible, early voting is available until Nov. 2.  Otherwise, I’ll see you in the long lines on November 6.  No matter when you do it, or who you do it for (grin), please just get out and vote.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

10/25/12 - New Reader & New Links

Welcome to our newest, wonderful reader, Wendy Kaye.  She has a wonderful blog, Domestic Sweetheart.  And no, that is not her icon pictured above (grin); however, I do expect that to some she really is a domestic goddess.  Where do you find time to do all that you do Wendy?  I love the deals and info on your blog.  Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of it, and thank you too for taking the time to visit here!

Wendy lives in San Diego.  I have lived in Oakland and Laguna Beach, but not since the ‘80s.  Still, to this day, I miss California – deeply.  And I’m sure I just made more than a few Texans gasp in horror, LOL, but it’s true.  I absolutely loved it.

It was some of the best times of my life.  While diving, I got pinged by a whale just beyond the kelps of Laguna Beach, and sought harbor inside a sunken ship off Catalina Island after I royally ticked off a bull sea lion by accident.  Hmmm, perhaps I should blog about that one day.  :)

But I digress, back to Wendy’s blog: it “features and attracts women who are always on the lookout for savvy products to fit their busy lifestyle, as well as fulfill their personal needs.”  I love the style of this blog and especially had fun looking through the coupons, freebies and travel sections.  Great stuff here folks!

I can tell you that it’s not just a service blog; it’s also a ton of fun.  If it wasn’t, she wouldn’t have 500+ followers!  Welcome Domestic Sweetheart.  I am honored!

NOTE:  I recently added a partial list of some of the blogs I follow to the right hand side of my blog.  You will find Domestic Sweetheart listed there along with many others.  This list should give you more than a few hours of great entertainment, reads and leads.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/23/12 - ODAT No Doubt

Since my anniversary post, I have received a lot of feedback via email, messages and phone calls.  Most of it good; some, not so much.  I can’t express enough gratitude to the people who support me in my dreams.  I am very thankful for each of you.  Mwah!

To the naysayers… I am grateful for you as well because I know your negative feedback comes from a place of concern.  It is interesting to me that it is the people that know me personally that tend to be the most skeptical.  Perhaps it is because they know how financially destitute I am right now.  But that’s the operative word (or words): right now.  I wholeheartedly believe this financial state is temporary.  I have gone to great lengths to reduce my overhead and capitalize on my income.  I will continue to do my part and God is large and in charge of the rest.

Will I be able to save enough to buy a 1970’s RV in 2013?  Hmmm, that really is THE question, isn't it?  Honestly, I don’t know.  How could I?  Life has a way of changing even the most steadfast and stalwart plans. I want to, but it is a want, not a need.  All my needs are met.  This has been a vision of mine since 10/22/11.  Granted, I didn’t accomplish it in the last 365 days, but that doesn’t mean I won’t succeed in 730 days or 1,068+ for that matter.  It is a dream I will continue to zealously pursue – that’s all I can possibly know with certainty. 

To be honest, when I read other blogs by people that are already living my dream, it sometimes hurts because I want that life so much.  But I am trying my best to live the life I have One Day At A Time (ODAT) with sincere, heartfelt gratitude for the many blessings I already have - right here, right now.  Naysayers, do what I do on the days of doubt, look at how far I’ve come, not how far I have to go.

Also, I realize it is a stretch to go from not even being able to make ends meet by the end of each month to owning an RV, but I believe.  And I’m willing to work hard.  And I’m not giving up.  As it stands now, it looks like I won’t be able to start putting money aside until 2013 so I’ll make a deal with you.  I’ll track my savings, every penny, and when I buy my RV I will publish the ledger on how I did it.  Not to account to the naysayers, but hopefully to serve as a beacon to someone else that may be starting out at a deficit like me.  Fair enough?

Don’t count me out.

Wonderful readers, thank you for being here with me on this journey.

Living in Grace is a good place to be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/12 - Happy ONE YEAR Anniversary!

Today marks the one year anniversary of my blog.  Can you believe it?!?

I created Living in Grace on 10/22/2011, in two different posts.  You can read the first post [here].  From that auspicious day and the 2nd post, miraculous things began to happen for me.  You can read the 2nd post [here].

Great things continue to happen.  I am extremely blessed, and most of it has revolved around this blog.  It has kept me on track, kept me accountable, and kept me in touch with a lot of amazing, wonderful people.  I am forever grateful.  I wanted to have my RV by now, so for the last couple of weeks I put it in high gear and did some earnest shopping in hopes that the universe would answer in kind.  I followed up with the owners (and 2 dealers) of each of these…

I even checked out a van that had been a work van - a rolling laboratory, but it needed too many modifications for my limited skills.  I saw lots of potential in it though and I hope it finds a good home.  Rick, the lot owner, was probably the most genuine of all the sellers I talked to.

However, after much deliberation and effort, it turns out I won’t be able to buy an RV this year as I had hoped.  That was a bummer, but I am super excited because I now have a definite game plan!  When this all started, I thought I would immediately move in to my RV once I bought it.  Trying to work the logistics and finances out to achieve that goal has been beyond daunting.  Finally it dawned on me, “Debra, buy a used, inexpensive model.  Stay in the apartment for now.  Learn the ropes of RV living and fix it up in the meantime!

That's exactly what I am going to do.  My new parameters for an RV are:

Class B or Class C,
Length less than 22 feet,
Clear title in hand (<-- I couldn't believe how many were selling without a title.  Wow.)

This puts me in a late ‘70s model – just like the ones pictured above.  The whole adventure would be elevated to synchronicity if it ends up being a '76 model.  Right, DHS Class of '76?  ;)

Regardless, I am thrilled.  I had begun to get discouraged.  Now?  It feels great to have precise, renewed, achievable direction.  Not only that, I have since been able to make repair arrangements with my mechanic!  Once I have an RV, he is going to let me work out of his shop on Saturdays.  Isn't that amazing?  Thank you, Kenny!  I will learn how to do an oil & filter change, a tune-up, and change out the belts and hoses, etc.  How awesome is that?!?  I’m going to be a grease monkey!  (Hence the picture above, grin.)  My 55th birthday next year is on Sunday, July 14, 2013.  Nothing would please me more than to spend the Saturday before my birthday getting greasy while working on my RV.  We shall see.

I have also been given an invitation to work whenever I want in a professional wood shop.  Awesomeness continued… amazing!  After I work on the engine, I’ll be able to work on the inside!  It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.  This came about from one of those serendipitous moments.  Someone moved out of the apartment across from me.  They left an antique, wooden desk chair in the breezeway.  It was going to get thrown away.  I couldn’t bare that.  It was identical to one my dad used to have.  It needed some TLC and the seat needed to be re-attached, but it was otherwise in perfect condition. So, I googled the area and found a furniture repair shop.

I took it to the guy and he couldn't believe I did all that and was willing to just give him the chair.  I told him it was his as long as he refurbished it and gave it a good home.  We got to talking and he has no one to pass his shop on to and just wants to mentor someone in woodworking.  I told him my goals and he made the offer for me to come there and do any interior woodwork needed.  He's even willing to teach my nephew who loves woodworking.  My nephew is as excited as I am because outside of shop at school, he had no one to teach him and nowhere to continue and improve his love of woodworking.  Thank you, J!

There are so, so many blessings in my life that revolve around the vision and dreams this blog has helped me define.  I can't wait to meet my RV.  And yes, I know how that sounds, but you've already been warned many, many times that I am a dweeb.  LOL.

Dweeb or not, I finish today, the one year anniversary of my blog, feeling as blessed and hopeful as when I started this journey -- if not more so.  Life is good and I am grateful.

Thank you for being here wonderful readers.

Living in Grace is a good place to be.