Our very first RV adventure blogging post!

091316-visited-states-map
As of September, 2016 we have finally visited all of the 48 connected states in the US!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blog below was the first blog that started documenting our travels and the experiences we’ve had.  A lot has happened since this first blog.  We were such newbies in the RV world and over the past 5 years have gained so much experience not only with RV life but in our own lives.  God has been so good to us leading us through this journey.  Hope you will read through the various posts to learn about RV life and about the silly couple that are the Chauvins!


August, 2012 – Hello world! Welcome to my first blog about Roy, Rosalyn, Dora and Boots’ adventures exploring the United States. We won’t start exploring for a while, other than an occasional trip to locations around Louisiana and a Christmas trip to Disneyworld! At least, not until our sticks and bricks house is sold! Please someone buy it!

This lovely 2 story Acadian style home on one acre is for sale!!!
This lovely 2 story Acadian style home on one acre is for sale!!!

If you’re wondering who Dora and Boots are, no they’re not our new grandchildren! They are TV characters our granddaughter Madisyn loves and consequently we’ve seen many episodes of Dora. In her show, Dora is an explorer and we learn all sorts of things through her exploring. Since our RV adventures will take us exploring throughout the United States, we thought it fitting to name our RV “Dora”. Our truck we are towing behind the RV is now named Boots, Dora’s trusty side kick who follows her everywhere! Our Dodge Dakota truck that we will tow is called our “toad”, in RV lingo. That means Boots is our toad!

I am married to my best friend, Roy Chauvin! Roy and I are a regular every day Southern Baptist Christian couple living in Hammond, Louisiana. I am a young 58 years old, born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana. Roy is a slightly older 63 year old who just turned the Social Security retirement age in January, 2013 and was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana right outside of New Orleans. We met in 1971 and were married in 1972. Our first son was born in the late 1970s followed by his brother Chip in 1981. They are both grown men now with wives and children of their own. All that’s a story for another day but we wanted you to know a little about the folks going on this journey. We moved to Hammond, Louisiana 25+ years ago and have lived here since. It’s a small college town between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. We both currently work at Southeastern Louisiana University. Roy is the Computer Fix It Guru (of course not his official title) and I am the Telephone Billing/Work Order Coordinator which is my official title. We are die-hard New Orleans Saints fans. We’ve loved them since they became a team in our teen age years and have supported them faithfully ever since.

Our adventure began back in August of 2012. I started keeping notes as we began the journey, making the decision to undertake this total lifestyle change. Instead of a daily blog, at first it will be a monthly blog for the months August, September, October, November and December 2012. From here on out I’ll post as I have the opportunity to or when enough experiences have occurred to be interesting.

We hope anyone considering the full time RV lifestyle will learn a little from our experiences as we have learned so much from others experiences. Ask us questions if you want, if we’ve experienced it we’ll let you know what happened with us! If you’re experienced full timing RVers and you see we’re making mistakes please, please shout out to us and share your sage advice with us newbies! We’ve been so happy since we made this decision that we are hoping some of our family and friends will get the itch and come join Roy, Rosalyn, Dora and Boots on our great adventure!

The blogs below are in newest blog first order. If you’d like to read about our experiences in order start at the last one in the list from August and read up to the current date. You may have to click on OLDER POSTS to get to the August one. Please click the FOLLOW link on the right if you’d like to receive an email whenever a new blog is posted!

11.17.18 New Rocks!!

Saturday, November 17, 2018 – My inventory (yes using a big word considering it’s about rocks) of rocks has dwindled to where I have been using big rocks from our driveway and road!  Living in the country on a gravel road does have it’s benefits! I prefer a little larger rock for my painting creations.

My son Chip and his beautiful wife Misty came through for me and added some new inventory to my rock pile!  On Chip’s day off he took me to Smith’s Landscaping in Ponchatoula and helped me gather many, many rocks.  64 pounds worth.  Here’s photos of me at Smith’s so very happy!

Here’s the first four rocks I painted with these rocks.  Smith’s Landscaping also paints rocks.  When we were there they were working on some strawberry rocks and were selling a bunch of Santa Claus rocks.  I loved their Santas so I tried my hand at copying the Santa rocks.  Mine are above here and theirs are in the second photo below.

Anyone wanting to purchase for me some rocks please go to Smith’s Landscaping and help me out! A girl can hope, right??

I believe I’ve finished painting the rocks for my rock village.  My grandchildren have contributed to the village.  I have it all on the dresser in our bedroom and hope to set it up this week.  I’ll share when that’s done.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

Advertisements

11.16.18 – Renting Out Dora – Part Eight – It’s Getting Better!

Friday, November 16, 2018 – We are on a good roll right now with our rentals.  Dora has been a very good girl and the renters have been very good renters!  We were a little concerned about what could happen if we rented Dora for football/racing tailgating.  We’ve now had four of those and they all turned out great. Dora was loved and well taken care of each time!

We have figured out that short three or four day rentals are the best for Dora.  The original ones were 14 to 16 days. She traveled with the families from Louisiana up to Maine then to Texas and back to Louisiana.  Then she traveled from Louisiana up to North Dakota then down to Arizona and home in Louisiana.  Both of those covered more mileage in two weeks as much, or nearly as much mileage as Roy and I would have traveled over a period of 6 to 8 months.  We believe it was just too much for Dora and very expensive things went wrong.

The first of the last two rentals went to LSU to tailgate for the LSU vs. Mississippi State.  The renters for that event were a terrific young couple who have had experience renting and driving motor homes.  Yay!!!  We had a little difficulty communicating with them prior to the rental which caused some concern.  Communication is extremely important to us to show that the rental isn’t a scam.  It wasn’t a scam in this case, the communication just wasn’t as smooth as we’d have like.  We loved this little couple once we met them and they brought her back very clean and happy!  They also expressed an interest in buying a motor home instead of continuing to rent one.  Selling our motor home is something we will be pursuing soon, so hmmmmmm……

The second rental was with another terrific person, a mom of two college football players.  One of her sons plays for LSU. The game she rented Dora for was the big game of the year, LSU vs. Alabama. When she came for her training we all agreed that it would be best for us to deliver Dora to her and pick her up from the LSU campus.  We negotiated our deliver/pick up fee down to something we all could live with.  It was actually fun for us to go to the LSU campus and see all the preparations on campus to welcome (maybe welcome isn’t the right word) the visiting Alabama supporters.  We’ve never been to an LSU tailgating event. To arrive and see all the motor homes setting up in just one lot (there are several lots) with all their LSU decorations was quite cool!  When we arrived the morning after the big game, our renter had everything clean and they had already completely moved out of Dora.

 

I always make a painted rock for the renter to remember their time with Dora.  For this renter I made one for each of the renter’s football player sons to remember their time playing football for the two teams. She said they loved them!

We have a week long rental starting tomorrow for Thanksgiving and a week long rental for right before Christmas in December.  That will wrap up this year’s rentals.

We have also decided to put our motor home on the market to sell.  We’d ideally like it to happen around end of this year after the last 2018 rental.  Wouldn’t’ it be nice if what we’d like to happen actually happened that way!  We’ll see!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

11.11.18 Chauvin Produce Company ends its 2018 production due to freeze

Monday, November 11, 2018 – Yes, I knew what I’d be doing today! My little venture into gardening is probably over for the year but I’ve learned so many lessons that will help with our spring crops! Recommendations for what we should grow in the spring are welcome!

We picked lots of radishes before Monday but these were the last of the radish crop! I’ve been enjoying them in my salads made from lettuce, cucumber and radishes from the garden!!!

Somehow this photo makes my carrot crop look like the carrots are bigger than they are.  The largest was no bigger than my little finger 🙂 but they will be perfect in a salad.

The little carrots and radishes after being cleaned up

I was growing the turnips for the bottoms. I think they didn’t have enough time in the ground to get nice and large.  Roy however loves the turnip tops so that meant we spent some hubby wife time at the kitchen sink rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing then peeling the leaves off the stems, then rinsing and rinsing some more.  The tiny bottoms will be cleaned up and cooked along with the tops.  Here’s the little bottoms:

Here’s a few of the turnip green tops:

Here’s the two bags of turnip green leaves, and a picture with the tiny turnip bottoms in it, after all the washing and work.  It’s amazing to me that we grew two rows of turnips and MAYBE we’ll get two meals of turnip greens.

We lived in Minnesota for five months our first year on the road.  While there we grew tomatoes, some of which were still quite green when it was time for us to leave there.  We picked them and eventually all turned red and were delicious.  I am hopeful that’s what will happen with all of these tomatoes below.  I did leave a few small ones on the bushes to see what would happen with a couple of nights with freezing temperatures.  I went down the hill to where the watermelon’s are growing and said goodbye to the two little watermelons there.  Aren’t they precious!  Can’t wait to grow some next year at the right time of the year so they can be eaten!!!

The two peanut plants are doing well.  Don’t know how the freeze will affect them, we’ll see!

I left a few green onions, a few small tomatoes, a few cucumbers and all of the new okra so I can see how they do in a slight freeze. Another thing I hope to learn from.

This is all of the cucumbers I picked today.  Guess I’ll be pickling cucumbers this week!  

The small turnip roots all cleaned up (before they were chopped up and in the bag a few photos above) and what’s left of the green onions.  We’ve enjoyed going out to pick a fresh one to sprinkle on top when we’re having baked potatoes. 

I’ll let ya’ll know if any of the vegetables we left on the bush, vine, etc. make it through the freeze and do anything.  The weather experts now say that tonight will go down to 28 for four hours tomorrow night and the following night.  We’ll see!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.11.18 Thank you to all American Veterans!

VETERANS DAY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2018

happy-veterans-day-poems

VETERANS DAY cropped

We all know men and women who have served or are serving now in our military.

I hope you all join me in saying a big

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS!

Thank you soldier for your time spent away from your family serving our country and preserving our freedom.

Thank you soldier for laying your life on the line by serving our country and preserving our freedom.

Thank you to those who were able to share God’s love and saving grace with those in foreign countries while you served.

I especially thank those soldiers who served in the Vietnam War and were never thanked properly by those you were fighting to protect.

Thank you to my son, who served in Iraq.  I am quite proud and thankful for his military service  and desire to share the Word of God with the Iraqis.

To all the men and women I know that have serve, you are all Heroes in my eyes.

veterans day blessings

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

veterans day 1Below are a couple of videos I thought were especially appropriate to convey my appreciation for all Veteran’s service.  Look at the faces of these young men and women as they train, as they prepare to leave their loved ones, as they serve and as they return.  These are our true American Heroes.  They are short videos so take a break and be reminded of their service and sacrifice.

The last video is not necessarily just for Veterans but when I stumbled across it I thought it was something that young and old parents might want to gather their children around the computer to watch and listen to.  Too many of our American traditions are being compromised and Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance is important for our children to hear and learn from.

Click on each picture to connect to the video.

 SO GOD MADE A SOLDIERso god made a soldier

veterans day graphicRED SKELTON’S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

When I heard the last few sentences it gave me chills.  We must always keep God in every part of our American life.

red skeltons pledge of allegiance

HAPPY VETERANS DAY TO ALL VETERANS!

thank a veteran

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

11.09.18 I know what I’ll be doing on Monday!

Friday, November 9, 2018 – Well, I know what I’ll be doing Monday.  Starting possibly Monday but definitely Tuesday and Wednesday the temperature lows overnight in our area will be between 29 degrees and 31 degrees which is below freezing.  We can’t leave the vegetables in the garden to freeze!  Too much love and effort has gone into the garden to let that happen.

This is Louisiana so we may have 80 degree weather the following week until Christmas but next week there is a freeze so I have to deal with that.

Monday I’ll be picking all of the tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, turnips, radishes, okra, carrots, and lettuce.  The okra may only be small but I’m going to try to pickle them.  The cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and bell peppers haven’t produced anything yet so they will get to freeze 😦   Our sweet little watermelons aren’t nearly big enough to pick so their life is over too! That doesn’t sound right but I am sure you know what I am saying.

Our blueberry bushes (in their current space next to the fence) just got pruned in this cold, windy, damp weather.  They finally are dormant and now pruned.  Roy will dig them up and transplant them in their new location by the house tomorrow.  The ground in their current space and the new space is soggy, soggy, so it will make transplanting them much easier.

Before pruning – there are five in the back and three in the front.  Four had no leaves and four still had some leaves.  This picture was taken last week so they were minus a lot more leaves when I pruned them.

After pruning

The cucumbers that I pickled (using a refrigerator method) are ready and we are really enjoying them.  They taste just like kosher dills!

Even Roy loves these delicious pickles!!

I’d do them all that easy way but they will only stay good in the refrigerator for one to two month and I’d like to have some around longer.  Since I have to pick them Monday a bunch of them will not be able to grow larger.  I may try making small cucumbers into pickles.  It’s worth a try.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.05.18 Early Voting – Vote Republican, Painted Rocks, Cucumbers, Baseball Cards!

Monday, November 5, 2018 – Early voting for the mid-term elections is over.  In our first voting as new (again) Louisiana voters we went to the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse and voted at the Registrar of Voters office last Monday.  Seems that gone are the days of stepping inside the big voting pole and having the curtain closed behind you.  Now there is a fairly open to everyone small electronic voting booth.  Every one of these small booths was occupied which confirms what I’ve heard of high percentages of people choosing to vote early rather than waiting for voting day.

America has been becoming Great again since the day President Donald J. Trump was elected.  It is over the top important that every one gets out to vote on November 6th and more important that just voting is to

I do not like all the tacky, untasteful, etc. words that sometimes come out of our President’s mouth.  I do LOVE all the progress our country has made under his Presidency. He is, regardless of the fake news, Making America Great Again. I firmly believe we need more REPUBLICANS in the Senate and House so that the President’s agenda can continue to move forward.  Please get out on voting day, November 6th and vote intelligently, vote REPUBLICAN.

After we met with Elisa from People’s Health, Roy and Chip went on a guy’s road trip.  When our sons were young they collected baseball cards and have a huge collection.  Chip remembers when he’d go to work with his dad, Roy, they would buy a box of baseball cards and open all the packs. He loved that.  Someone posted on Facebook that they had a wrapped box of 1990 Upper Deck baseball cards (the good ones) for sale in Pearl River.  They drove there, bought the cards and came home to open them!  It was fun for even me watching them open the packs and reminisce about pro ball players we’ve followed in years past.

Our vegetable garden is doing well. The cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, turnips and radishes are doing great.  We pick lettuce every day and have harvested the radishes and planted more lettuce and radishes in their place.  The lettuce is reproducing itself each time we pull some leaves! The carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are doing well but I don’t know if they will produce before it gets too cold.  We’ll see!  All of the lessons we are learning with this crop will help us with the spring garden.

The cucumbers in the photo below are just a tiny portion of the crop we have growing!  There must be 100 cucumbers on the vines! I’m going to learn how to pickle cucumbers and would love anyone’s tried and true pickling recipe and instructions for how to do it!

The little watermelons, cantaloupe and peanut garden that is located down the hill near the pond are another learning experience.  When the time is right next year we’ll do this again in the same place.  Here’s how the watermelons are doing right now.  I think they are adorable, just too little to eat yet!

I love the view out of our living room windows.  When the cows are in the picture it is even better!  We have squirrels scampering around now and I love it!  The sun setting view is exceptional! The colors in the picture are just a smidgen of the beautiful colors we actually see.

I am still loving my rock painting and took pictures when I finally got it straightened up and back to being organized!

My view of the back yard, pond and garden out the rock painting room window is very special!

We had bad weather come through a couple of days ago and we woke up to the garden being in bad shape.  Everything is now standing back up and I am hopefully the emergency care will help the plants do well again.

We delivered Dora yesterday evening to LSU’s campus for a weekend of tailgating.  It is such an amazing campus, we really enjoyed this delivery to a really great lady and her family!

That’s the goings on in Chauvin world last week! Ya’ll come back now ya hear!

10.31.18 Wacky Wonderful Halloween

October 31, 2018 – I haven’t created or published one of these Wacky Wonderful Wednesday posts in four months.  It doesn’t draw that much activity yet it is the blog I enjoy collecting things for and putting together the most. I think I’ll begin making one for big holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

So here we are for Halloween! Hope you enjoy this one!

 

 

CUTESY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!

 

10.30.18 People’s Health, People’s Health

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – Today we signed up with People’s Health (PH) through the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), State of Louisiana.  For many decades I’ve been able to compare insurance offerings and decide what was best for our family.  I tried really, really hard for several hours over the course of a few days and just couldn’t get it.

We currently  have Medicare and a Blue Cross supplement through OGB.  We liked all the benefits the commercials from People’s Health made look so desirable and with no premium!  I did understand at least that the People’s Health benefits in the commercials was  probably different than PH with OGB.  So with the little bit I did understand it was enough to know we needed help with understanding the choices.

Office of Group Benefits with the State of Louisiana has several meetings state wide for employees and retirees to learn the difference between the many plans offered.  I knew that having dementia it would be best for a one on one visit.

I reached out to People’s Health and a really nice young lady, Elisa Rosales, a sales representative with PH, contacted me.  We talked a bit on the phone and I sent her a list of questions, a list of our medicines and doctors.  Our son Chip previously sold Medicare supplements, in his before car selling life.  We asked him to join us for the meeting and he came an hour early so we could discuss everything before Elisa arrived at our house.

We were all very impressed with how prepared she was. She took us through one health benefit at a time comparing the normal PH’s plan advertised on television, to the PH’s plan through OGB, State of Louisiana.

Once we realized that for us the PH with OGB was the better plan for our needs we then compared it to what Blue Cross through OGB was offering for 2019.   With so many things changing with the Blue Cross plan for 2019 it was easy to see that the PH’s plan coverage was far better. We will save a bit on the premiums, save a lot on hospital stays and a lot on our prescription costs and we have dental and vision coverage with People’s Health. Kinda sad to be leaving Blue Cross on January 1, 2019 but becoming People’s Health members is the right thing for us.

If you need help like we did, whether you are with the OGB or not, here’s her contact information:  Cell 504-756-0800, Office 504-681-8429 and her email address is elisa.rosales@peopleshealth.com.  Give her a holler, you’ll be glad you did!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

10.28.18 Leave Everything In God’s Hands, from I LOVE PSALMS

How amazing to know and feel when we cast all our burdens and anxious thoughts to God? No matter what you face in life, never let go of God’s hands.

He is your provider! He is your Redeemer! He is your all in all!

Whatever life throws at you, it don’t matter, if we have taken and laid it to the Lord in prayer.

How wonderful we can bring all matters of life to our Creator! Only He can sustain you in all situations.

When all else fails, God doesn’t fail us! He will come to us and we can take comfort and rest in Him.

When you can’t see his plans and when you can’t trace his hand, Trust His heart!

He will never leave you lonely and empty. He will replace everything you lost. He will make peace with all the broken relationships!

If He asks you to put something down, it’s because He wants you to pick something greater and reveal His glory through you! His plans and ways are perfect!

Everything that God allows to come your way is always with a purpose. He uses even the greatest mistake and deepest pain to mold you into a better person!

He’s got you like He always do! Keep praying! Don’t quit.

Miracles happens every day!

So never stop believing and God can quickly make the biggest come back in your life! Trust Him!

All the puzzle pieces will fall in its place in His time! His hands are not too short to deliver you!

Don’t look back keep focusing and fixing your eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith! Amen! God bless!

Psalm 16:8 – I have set the Lord Always before me because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved!

from I LOVE PSALMS.COM