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 Chad was born in 1979 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!

11.24.17 What I’m THANKFUL for!

In past Novembers I posted on Facebook something I was thankful for each day of the month. I tried to work on this earlier in the month and it just didn’t happen.  Doesn’t mean I am not thankful for a lot so I’m going to share some of the things I’m most thankful for here!

Today we are having Thanksgiving dinner at our son Chip’s home with his wife Misty.  I am thankful that this young family is willing to take over this family tradition, giving Grannie a day to enjoy instead of being responsible for hosting!  Before I went to sleep last night I thanked God for all the work and cooking I knew they are doing before we all arrive there today!  Thank you Chip and Misty!

I am most thankful to God for all the blessings he has bestowed on me, and his mercy. I am terribly thankful for His Grace that I don’t deserve

I am more thankful than ever for God’s unconditional love.  God loves me even though I am a sinner, a dumb blonde, don’t deserve it and make it extremely difficult for him to love me. But he consistently and overwhelmingly loves me. I’m very thankful for the secure feeling of knowing he’s walking with me every day as a child of His.  I long for the day when I begin my eternal life in Heaven with Him and others who have given their lives to Him.

I am thankful for my husband of almost 45 years (November 25, 1972). He looks past my fat old self and  treats me like the young chick he fell in love with. He puts up with my mind slipping away with love and kindness. The saying that some things get better with age was meant for my honey Roy!

I am thankful for my church family at Trinity that has been an amazing support for my family the past 30 years since moving to Hammond.  So many of them have been my rock through really horrible times and been there to rejoice with me through the wonderful times. I thank God for the musical abilities He has given to many at our church.  Worshiping God through music and His Word at Trinity is a blessing.

I’m thankful for my oldest son who doesn’t want his name included and for our youngest son Chip. They opened the big world of motherhood to me and I thank God for them every day.

Our sons are both married to very special ladies. They have children which makes me a Grannie to six little darlings!  We’ve gone from the two of us to twelve of us including us, our sons, their wives and the grandchildren.  So much to be thankful for in those sweet wonderful faces of our grandchildren.

I’m thankful for my mama Josie Blum Traylor who went to live with God in 2007.  Her deep love and pride in her family, the family traditions she passed on, the care giving she provided my children when I couldn’t be there, her love for God and living a devoted Christian life. God gave me the mother that I needed and I miss her presence and support in my life each and every day.

I am especially thankful for my sister Harriett. Even though she is several years older than me we are very close. We are very different types of people being raised in two different generations but we were both raised by our mama and that makes us very similar in many ways. She is a giving, compassionate person who is always doing for others and I admire her a lot.

I am thankful for the pain and suffering I’ve experienced in life. It’s done many positive things for me. Once I pulled up my big girl panties and stopped whining about whatever it was, it has always drawn me closer to God. He is the one that I know I absolutely can always count on being there. Having a relationship with God has given me grounding and a strong rock to always be able to turn to.

I am thankful I have a husband who can do anything!  He can build, repair, create, figure out and fix anything!  He’s tired of doing all that now and doesn’t let his brilliance in these areas be seen too often lately but when he does I can say he’s still got it!

I am thankful that I am an American.  I have become disheartened in recent years with the direction in which our country is going and the lack of Christian values becoming more prevalent.  I see this changing with President Trump’s administration. Big thankful there!  I am thankful for our ability to freely vote and being able to freely worship without the fear of harm.

I am thankful for the Word of God, his Holy Bible.  I read it, learn from it, try to  live my life by it and as the years go by I realize how very much it is the only instruction manual a Christian needs.  I was blessed to have the privilege of teaching the Books of the Bible to 3rd and 4th graders for many years and teaching them to cherish the Word of God.  They knew this was just the first step to learning the wonders and mysteries of God’s Word.  There is nothing like hearing a sermon from The Word.  It helps me understand how to look in His Word for the answer to my life questions and to draw me closer to Him.

I am so thankful that God has allowed us to change our lifestyle and enjoy our time on the road these last five years.  The travels we’ve enjoyed and our discovery of the beautiful elements of nature around this country is indescribable.  The lack of stress, responsibility and freedom experienced living in an RV on the road is something everyone (retired or not) should get to do.

This list of things I’m thankful for has opened my eyes to the abundance of blessings God has given me, the special people in my life, my dear family members, true friends and most of all God.

Ya’ll come back ya’ hear!

Advertisements

11.22.17 Gratitude and Thanksgiving by Debbie McDaniel

Gratitude and Thanksgiving
By Debbie McDaniel

“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”  Psalm 95:1-3

We have so much to be grateful for in this life. Each and every day. But reality is that sometimes constant life demands, struggles, and worries give more room to defeat than to a heart of thanks. Or we forget, in the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives.

gratitude-complaining-your-daily-prayer

Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel like it. We’re struggling. We’re weary. Or maybe, we feel like He let us down. We think God seems distant, like he’s far away, or doesn’t really care about what’s troubling us. Painful life blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.

But here’s what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to give him thanks. And with a heart of thanksgiving, we realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts. His power, through hearts of gratitude and focused minds on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us.

We’re strengthened by His peace, refueled by His joy.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Chauvin’s home to your home!

 

11.21.17 Who Dats Saints, Found Rocks

Our New Orleans Saints are on an eight game winning streak.  Last time I can remember this happening was the year they won the Super Bowl! Everywhere we’d go stores, homes, and workplace had signs up announcing how many wins they were at in the streak.  After losing the first two games this year it was like a winning switch was turned on and they are barreling down everyone they play against, until this Sunday.  They pulled out the win but  it was heart attack city until the last second!

 

Here’s excerpts from an article Mike Triplett, an ESPN Staff Writer wrote.

Saints so hot that a 15-point deficit in final minutes doesn’t stand a chance

NEW ORLEANS — If this winds up being a special season for the New Orleans Saints, they will point back to Sunday’s win over the Washington Redskins for years.

Just like 2009 all over again.

The Saints (8-2) had no business winning their eighth straight game Sunday after trailing by 15 points with less than three minutes remaining — just like those ’09 Super Bowl Saints had no business coming back from a 10-point deficit at Washington in the fourth quarter. Fittingly, the hero of that game — receiver Robert Meachem — served as the honorary captain on Sunday.

Drew Brees also had his finest moment of the year, completing 11 of 11 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns on the Saints’ two quick touchdown drives at the end of regulation. The Saints haven’t asked Brees to be Superman during their win streak because the defense and run game have been so good, but he sure played the role when needed on Sunday. Tight end Coby Fleener also came up huge, among others, on those drives. And Kamara’s bobbling 18-yard TD catch went from a possible disaster to a thrilling moment.

It was far from the Saints’ prettiest or cleanest victory. But sure enough, two quick touchdowns, three defensive stops and a field goal in overtime led them to a 34-31 victory and kept them flying as the hottest team in the NFL (even on their worst day).

The Saint’s new running back Alvin Kamara #41 is so much fun to watch.  He’s everywhere!  Unless you are in Louisiana you may not know how spectacular our Saints are doing so little old me is broadcasting it here!

We plan to spend Thanksgiving Day with our son’s families this week at Chip and Misty’s home. They told me last night all they are making and it sounds like a massive feast!  I am bringing some things including a sweet potato casserole that they said I made last year and I don’t remember making.

I learned this week that the EEG Dr. Patricia Morgan (neurologist) ordered for me is a three day thing.  Not a 30 minute EEG in the office. The little I’ve learned about it was from the EEG company calling and telling me about it and looking it up on the internet.  They wire you up all over your head, like a regular in the office EEG.  All the leads go to a machine that records bursts and seizure events in the brain, 24 hours a day for three days.  They also put video cameras in your bedroom and living room to record any physical signs of seizures.  I won’t be able to bathe or wash my hair, and am suppose to try to not do anything strenuous, just rest for the three days.  This type of EEG captures much more than a 30 minutes or so EEG in the office would catch.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have it next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I’ll share more about it while I’m doing it!

Roy is busy down at the pond this morning cutting down some of the smaller pine trees that have died (we think they died from the water in the pond being so high). I’ve started making Christmas themed rocks so there is red and green everywhere now!

Roy had his OCT test this week at Dr. Greiners.  While we were there I got to meet a staff member named Bailey.  Last time we were there we hid rocks and she found some and loved it.  When I called to make an appointment for Roy the receptionist told me how they loved the rocks we hid.  This visit I found that Bailey has two rocks from our last visit sitting on her desk!  I told them we hid more outside and Bailey got one while we were seeing the doctor.  I offered more to her so she could hide them were she’d like to.  She came out to the car with us and said it was okay to take her picture.  Here she is!

When we made Roy’s next appointment they were happy because that means we’ll be back with more rocks!!!

This young man, Mr. Butler, found one of our rocks at Ponchatoula High School the day of the play Annie.  We got to talking about the rock project and since he doesn’t have a computer to post that he found it, he said I could take his photo!  His wife Kay Butler has dementia and it turns out she was my Theater professor at Southeastern several years ago.  I really enjoyed visiting with Mr. Butler.  God puts great people in our lives when we least expect it!

We went into town in Amite this evening and hid about 20 Thanksgiving love rocks all over the town!  Tomorrow morning lots of businesses will be greeted with one that I hope makes them smile!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

11.17.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Friday!

 

 

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and natureEvery giant is an opportunity to see God’s power as He fights for you. Every valley is an opportunity to trust God to lead you through. Every problem, setback, and trial is an opportunity to see God be faithful in taking care of you. No matter what you face today know that God is right there with you and He will help you through. Don’t let your current situation distort your view of God. There’s no problem too hard for God to handle, no storm too strong for God to calm, and no giant too big for God to overcome. He is on your side and He will take care of you.

-Anna Bachinsky

EPHESIANS 5:19-20 ~ “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

BEAUTIFUL PLACES AROUND GOD’S AMAZING WORLD

XINJING, CHINAWITCHES GULCH, WISCONSIN ST. MARY LAKE, GLACIER NATIONAL PARKSAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

 

SUPER COOL CHAIRS

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published randomly

11.14.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD Losing a Loved One to Dementia published 07.12.15

I skipped several blog posts that were originally posted on Some Things I Learned About Dementia. I’m finding this hard to do so I’m choosing the ones I believe are most important to share. Feel free to go to our Dementia blog to read more at:  https://rosalynsalzheimersblog.wordpress.com/

Our interim pastor’s wife, Janice Adams, shared this on her facebook page back in 2015. I knew it was something I wanted to share with those who follow this blog. I hope, as always, that it is helpful to someone living with someone who has dementia. Here it is!

Posted by

Whether you are the one diagnosed, the family of the diagnosed, or the caretaker of the diagnosed – this post is for those of us who have suffered or do suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. My intent from this is to bring comfort and a fresh perspective to anyone in those three painful categories.

For those of you who don’t know, I spent the past two years working in the Special Care Unit of an assisted living facility.

This unit had my heart from day one. I felt a deep sense of compassion for all of the people who lived with dementia, & became excited to help their days be worth living.

There were so many aspects of this job that were challenging. It was a challenge to calm down an angry resident throwing punches. It was a challenge to guide back home the resident who came the hall completely naked, covered in poop head to toe, and unaware. It was a challenge to redirect the anxious, hysterical resident whose convinced that her husband (who passed away long ago) is cheating on her in this moment. Or the resident who truly believes that she is the president of the United States, so you must do everything she says. It was a challenge to get my residents in the shower, or to even use the toilet most of the time.

All of these things & so much more were daily challenges I faced as a caregiver. However, if you know me, you know that I love a challenge. Not only, most importantly, was I able help the resident, but I also felt accomplished for handling those stressful moments well.

But the longer I was there, the less I considered these things challenges. I got to know each resident as a person. I know them from the depths of their life story to the smallness of how they take their coffee. I began to see these people not only as individuals, but as friends. And as I did, the only challenge I began to face each day was the fact that these people that I love so deeply are living with such a terrible disease.

It wasn’t fair that these people suffered in this way. Not only did they suffer, but their families suffered greatly. And then I realized that I was suffering for them as well. My heart broke because of this horrible disease. I remember driving home from work one day and being so angry. I thought to myself, “is a person really still human – are they really still themselves – once their mind has left them”?

This question ate at me that night and broke my heart.

But then God allowed me to see things from a new perspective. I came into work the next day and saw a very angry Ellie (not real name for privacy reasons). Ellie was probably the worst case of dementia I have ever seen. Her mind was totally gone. Most days she was far from the ability of holding a conversation. I walked into my unit this specific day to find her yelling and cussing and threatening – her normal self. But on this specificity day, I went up to her with my arms open wide and a huge smile on my face. I squeezed her tightly and said, “Ellie, I just love you so much”. All at once, she was at peace. No more yelling, cussing, or threatening. For just a split second she had no anger and no pain. With the biggest, two-toothed smile, and joy in every inch of her being, she loudly declared, “oh I love you too”!

It was in that moment that I realized this truth: No matter how gone a persons mind may become, they are still so very human – they are still very themselves. Ellie was deep down in there somewhere – it just took some effort to find her.

I’ve taken care of many residents into their last days. And I can tell you that not a single resident, as gone as their minds became, EVER lost the ability to give and receive love. And this, I believe, is what makes a person themselves – it is what makes a person human.

All at once I saw that what makes a human being human is the heart with which one can give and receive love.. There was an intimacy there that went far beyond words or acts” –Henri Nouwen

I will not reduce the utter sadness of this disease. It is a horrific thing for any person to have to go through. But I tell you that on a daily basis these people in my unit laughed, enjoyed each other, smiled, lived, and loved.

My encouragement to those who have a loved one suffering from dementia, is that as you feel like you are slowly loosing your mother or father, please know that no matter how progressed their dementia becomes, you will always have access to their heart.

At the end of the day, God is good. We HAVE to hold onto this truth. It will sustain us! Romans 8:28 says that God works all things together for the good of those who love him! I promise that somehow – someway, even this, God will use for good.

And most importantly, let us not forget that in the grand scheme of things, our lives here on earth are so short. I praise God for the promise of a better life after this one – with no more sickness and no more tears. I praise Him that He will redeem us for everything we suffered from in this life, beyond what we can imagine!

God is good! I pray you are able to rest in this truth today.

11.13.17 This past week in Chauvin world!

Monday, November 13, 2017 – We’ve had a good week!

My sister Harriett and brother in law George came to visit us and we had fun catching up.  She even took some of my rocks back for her garden!  Chip came to visit this past week also.  Visiting in person is always nicer than on the phone.  I feel very loved when Chip gives up some of his day off to visit with us!  I don’t expect it, it’s just nice.

Last Thursday we started out by going to Madisyn’s school, and attending the Veterans Day service honoring those in the military that were related to the 3rd grade students.    Paw Paw Roy was in the Navy as a young man and got to sit on the stage with the other veterans. When it was his turn he told of his time in the military and Madisyn got to stand up while he spoke. I was so impressed with how well done today’s presentation was. Madisyn sang America the Beautiful with the 3rd grade chorus. It was beautiful hearing those young children’s voices. We all pledged allegiance to the flag and I was so happy to hear all of the children knew it and spoke it proudly! At the flag raising ceremony afterwards there was even a prayer offered by one of the children. Their principal served in the military for many years and wore his uniform today. In this day of some showing such disrespect it made my old heart very happy to be a part of today’s very patriotic event.   First are two of Madisyn’s proud parents, Chip and Misty! 

The military men and women related to a 3rd grade student were seated on the stage with all of the 3rd grade sitting quietly on the floor!

The D. C. Reeves 3rd grade chorus. 

This video is of the children singing.  The little girl in the back row with her face almost covered by her sheet of music is Madisyn!  Roy is almost right behind her on the second row.

A few Ponchatoula High School band members played the songs of each of the branches of our military.  When they played Anchors Aweigh. Roy and another man stood representing the Navy.

This is Roy behind the podium telling about his years in the Navy on board the USS Lawe and the USS Putnam.

Madisyn’s principal and the other military men and women saluting the students.  Before this he taught the children how to salute.

Flag Raising Ceremony presented for the Veterans. 

Daily Star newspaper in Hammond published this picture that they are both in.  Roy’s on the second row of Veterans and Madisyn is on the last row of singers.

After the school event we went to see a new neurologist, Dr. Patricia Morgan.  The jury is still out on whether I will continue with her.  Her assistant ran me through a common neurologist dementia testing which I didn’t do great on.  When she asked what the date was I said October 9th.  Roy told me it was really November 9th when she left the room.  She told me to remember three common words and after asking a bunch of non related questions she asked me to tell her what the three words are and I got one of them.  I brought the doctor my previous brain medical records so she went through them before coming in.  She asked me a lot of questions and then asked me to walk across the room.  My balance hasn’t been good for the last couple of years and when asked to put one foot in front of the other (like they do at a DUI stop) I swerved and looked very drunk.  She said that an abnormal EEG concerned her and that I have a lot of white matter.  She ordered a new EEG to see if I’m having seizures which is adding to the other brain issues.  This is a different approach than Dr. Shamsnia took. She said that there are no other medicines that I can try for dementia so as of now I’m off medicine.  I have a return appointment to see Dr. Morgan on December 4th to get the test results.  I thought I’d be going to the hospital for the EEG but was told that the company doing it comes to our house to do it, even though we live in Amite.  I’m waiting now to get that scheduled.  I left there a little confused but hopefully at the next appointment we’ll know more.

Saturday morning at 9 am I joined Chip’s family at the Harbor Church’s Thanksgiving Servolution team to assemble 1200 meals for delivery to needy people in the Hammond area.  Last time I did this with Chip’s church I was responsible for putting the aluminum foil between the hot food at the bottom and the desert and bread on top.  This time I did the same.  I must look like I’m good at aluminum foil placement! 

This first photo I found that someone else took.  This was early on when we were wrapping forks in napkins.  They all have their red SERVE team shirts and that’s me in pink!

 

Two huge pots of jambalaya were cooked and served.

Some of the meals ready for delivery.

Our precious granddaughter Kallie helping with the assembly.

When the deliveries started, our time in the assembly line ended.  We met up with Roy and went to Ponchatoula High School to watch Kaylon and Gracyn Willoughby in the play “Annie”.  They are both naturals on stage.  It was very well done and we loved seeing those girls in action!

After the play we brought Madisyn home with us to spend the night and go to church with us on Sunday. This was the first time we’ve had her overnight in many months and we all just loved it! Sunday was a very special day at Trinity.  George Martin was ordained as a Deacon at Trinity.  We’ve known George for most of his life and are very proud of the young man he is with his wife and two sons.  This is our pastor Rev. Avery Dixon as we prepared to pray for George and our other active Deacons at the end of the service.

Madisyn and her friend Randi Beth haven’t seen each other in a long time and were happy to see each other today when church was over.

I’ve created a Chauvin family rock.  I am working on one for Chip’s family and a different one for our oldest son’s family.

We have several days now of rest not having to go anywhere until this coming Thursday when Roy goes to the eye doctor and we go to Gretna, Louisiana to visit our friends Sally and John Vlosich.

It’s such a beautiful day today, we have all our windows open and are enjoying the slight cooling breeze that’s coming in!  On our way home after church we drove down General Ott Road.  When we got near Hinson Road, where we use to live, we saw acres and acres of what use to be woods, and is now all cleared out.  The yellow house you see through the clearing was our home on Hinson Road.  We always loved the woods being there so this was a big shock to see.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

11.08.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Wednesday

…so today: We’re simplifying everything. Just keeping it real simple. “So here’s what… to do:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life— & place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” Romans 12:1-2MSG

God offers you a changed, new life — whenever you make your everyday things an offering to Him.

Sometimes the best training for the really big things is just the everyday things.

So today, that’s it: offer all your everyday things to God. Embrace all the grace of God for those everyday things. Fix all your attention on God through the everyday things — this begins to profoundly fix the problems of the everyday things.

By Ann Voskamp

BEAUTIFUL PLACES AROUND GOD’S AMAZING WORLD

WORLD’S TALLEST BRIDGE – MILLAU VIADUCT BRIDGE, SOUTHERN FRANCE

SELJALANDSFOSS, ICELAND PRIMORSKY KRAI, RUSSIA

PULPIT ROCK, NORWAY

PORTLAND, OREGON

This is miniature Jersey steer named Finn, and he is sharing sunflowers with all of YOU. His mission is to make a big difference in this world just by bringing smiles to everyone he meets. ….and I think he is doing a pretty good job doing just that. 🙂

Image may contain: flower, outdoor and nature

Finn’s fb page: Adventures of Finn
Photo credit: Photographer, Tiffany @ rytanphotosbytiffanycom

Many of us couldn’t imagine whirling and twirling on the ice, but for Taryn Jurgensen, she couldn’t imagine life any other way. Taryn has been skating since she was a little girl and is ready to show the world what she’s made of during a local showcase.

Her God-given skills are amazing and she’s about to highlight her ability. Shaking off the nerves, Taryn skates onto the ice and waits for her song to begin…

The feeling of freedom on the ice and the exhilaration of performing in front of an audience is what pushed Taryn to enter into the Los Angeles Showcase. Skating to “Hallelujah” by Alexandra Burke (a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s hit), Taryn takes the ice and demonstrates her incredible skill.

Taryn’s elegance, poise, smoothness and expressiveness is part of what wowed the judges. She truly is an incredible ice skater. It simply too my breath away!

Take a peek at her prize-winning routine for yourself by clicking in the video below.

THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

HARVEST DECORATIONS!

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published randomly

11.07.17 Top 5 Feuds Between RVers, a blog post on RVillage by D.R. Racklefrack

Top 5 Feuds Between RV’ers

A featured blog by Dirty Rotten Racklefrack!  More of his blogs can be found at:  https://www.rvillage.com/pages/blog  You may have to become a member but it is free and becoming a member take one minute!

The RV community is unique in that we’re a tight-knit group of like-minded wanderers united by an unparalleled passion for travel and exploration. We’re eager to befriend fellow travelers, we’re happy to lend a hand to other RV’ers who need it and we always agree on everything.

Well… maybe not always. And certainly not everything.

Spend some time in any RV social group and you’ll soon discover there are several topics of conversation that are virtually guaranteed to start a heated argument. These conflicts pre-date the relatively minor squabbles of Apple vs. Windows, XBox vs. Playstation, or even Betamax vs. VHS, and they’re far more likely to pit brother-against-brother on a scale not seen since the American Civil War.

Big vs. Small

RV’ers in general are a very accepting bunch; we don’t discriminate against those who travel in RV’s that differ from ours no matter how different they may be. Your new best friend could be pulling the smallest pop-up trailer or navigating the largest land yacht and it wouldn’t matter because we’re all out here doing what we love, and that common ground is what matters most.

But watch what happens when you ask “Which is the best RV to travel in?” Oh… the best, you ask? Well, that’s a whole different thing. Sure, your RV is fine to park next to for a few days in a some-of-my-best-friends-are-vandwellers kind of way, but is it better than mine? Is it the best?!? We can argue about different types of RV’s all day long – and we often do – but in the end it nvariably boils down to a single common denominator: SIZE. (Doesn’t everything?)

On the one side you have the Purists who believe that an RV must be able fit into every national park and Walmart parking lot in North America or else it’s too big to serve any purpose. Who cares if you have pull over to pee in a bucket? On the other side you have the Idealists who prefer to travel in comfortable luxury at the expense of having to cross their fingers they’ll find a spot big enough to park their behemoths anywhere in the same time zone as the place they want to go… fuel mileage be damned.

Sure, there are some RV Goldilocks who travel in RV’s that are not-too-big and not-too-small, and it might be just right for them, but unless they take a stand in favor of one extreme or the other they’re really just cannon fodder in this argument.

So, what size RV is the best to travel? Not so fast there, Speed Racer… we haven’t even scratched the clear coat yet.

New vs. Used

The feud between new vs. used has always struck me as odd because we really couldn’t have one without the other. As good as new RV sales are, there wouldn’t be enough of them on the road to financially support all the parks, repair shops, after-market manufacturers, etc. without the vast number of used RV’s taking up the slack. And, obviously, you can’t buy a used RV until someone else bought it new first.

RV’ers in favor of buying brand new RV’s will argue that they want everything to be clean, unused and in perfect fresh-from-the-factory condition. Their detractors are all too happy to remind them that their RV was likely rummaged through by hundreds of lookie-loos before they bought it and that new RV’s break down almost as often as used rigs… often with wait times far longer than for used RV’s because of the warranty process.

RV’ers in favor of buying used rigs often argue that their RV’s are already “broken in” and they get much more bang for their buck. New RV proponents will quickly point out that the “bang” they got for their buck was probably an axle snapping when they hit that speed bump, and good luck getting parts for that “classic” you’re driving.

The most common bottom line for both sides of the debate is that the other is “wasting” more money: one on the retail price, financing, dealer mark-up and depreciation of a new rig; the other on repairs, upgrades an inferior construction and components of older RV’s. The funny thing is, few of us will be able to sell our RV’s for what we paid and put into them, so the point is moot at best. If any of us were counting on a financially profitable return on our investments, RV’s would be just about the last thing to invest in.

Dolly vs. 4-down

Moving on to the silliest feud between RV’ers, it’s hard to imagine why this one keeps popping up as often as it does. In truth, no one really cares how some other RV’er tows their car until some newbie asks, “What’s the best way to tow a car behind an RV?” or even “What’s the best car to tow behind my RV?” Ugh… newbies. We gotta love ‘em, but they really know how to stir up the black tank.

4-down advocates will almost always profess how much easier it is to hook-up a car to a tow bar… which is funny, since most of them have never owned a dolly and have no idea how hard or easy it can be. Dolly tow-ers will turn right around and argue that they can tow anything that fits on the dolly and they don’t need to switch out tow assemblies when they buy a new car… which means nothing to the RV’er who plans on keeping their tow-car forever.

In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that I dolly-tow my car, which of course means that dolly towing is best. I can tow any front-wheel drive car I want, I don’t have to install towing packages or auxiliary braking systems, and I can hook up my car in 7 minutes flat without breaking a sweat… after I find a place to store that monstrosity out of the way for a week or two at a time and then picking it up and rolling all 700 lbs. of ungainly iron into position, not to mention having to replace the not-inexpensive tires every 8-10,000 miles. Yep, dolly towing the best… isn’t it?

Gas vs. Diesel

Few discussions between RV’ers will generate the level of frenzied intensity as the debate between gas. vs. diesel. But unlike the silliness of the dolly vs. 4-down feuds, gas vs. diesel is an argument that at least has some real merit, though the answers are almost never as easy as they would have you believe.

Defenders of gas-powered RV’s regularly argue that the initial price and the cost of maintenance and repairs is so much higher on diesel-powered rigs that they’re a waste of money. It’s true: Diesels are more expensive to purchase initially, but it’s difficult to compare the costs of maintenance and repairs vs. a gas-powered RV since their maintenance schedules are so different. And, of course – it goes without saying – diesel-powered RV’s never break down. “It’ll run forever and ever!” or so I was told when we bought ours.

Supporters of diesel-powered RV’s almost always point to the lack of horsepower and torque in gas rigs when compared to diesels, which is a fair statement, but it’s only relevant if you need  that much power. Many RV’ers don’t haul everything they own in their rigs and they don’t tow multiple trailers loaded down with every vehicle, toy and tool they own. The other most common argument in favor of diesel-power is the much longer expected lifespan of the machine itself compared to a gas-powered RV. Again, it’s a fair statement, but it’s only relevant if you plan to keep your RV that long… or want an RV that will outlive you.

The Mother of ALL RV Feuds

I have naturally saved the most contentious controversy for last. No single topic is more hotly debated on a daily basis than this; in fact, so many RV’ers butt heads over this septic rivalry that it’s both the #1 and #2 feuds of all time. I am, of course, talking about none other than…

RV toilet paper vs. household toilet paper. The time has come to finally wipe the slate clean on this topic and put it behind us once and for all.

“Household toilet paper will clog your black tank!”

“RV toilet paper is so uncomfortable to use!”

“Household toilet paper contributes to climate change!”

“RV toilet paper is more expensive than my loan payment!”

We’ve all heard this verbal diarrhea before, but according to my logs there hasn’t been much movement from either end of the conversation. What we need is for everyone to take a seat so we can flush out the truth… then we’ll all be in a much better position to bear down on the facts.

I humbly propose the following rule-of-bum as a possible answer to all our concerns: If it’s plush, go ahead and flush. If it’s strong, it’d be wrong. I’d say more on this subject but I’m all out of puns.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Smarter-than-average RV’ers will undoubtedly notice that I left out one of the most prevalent feuds online: Pop-up vs. Tear-Drop vs. Camper vs. Trailer vs. 5th Wheel vs. Class A, Class B, Class C, Super C… now do you see why I left it out? The reason any of these feuds endure is because there is no one answer that’s right for everyone in every situation. Hysterically, RV’ers who routinely engage in these arguments almost always recommend what they own and what they do as the best solution… how convenient is that?

A big, used, dolly-towing, diesel-powered RV that easily tolerates any ultra-soft household toilet paper is absolutely the best RV… FOR ME. You’re the only one who can decide which one is best for you.

I always love reading whatever D.R. Racklefrack writes and I thought this one would be helpful to Dreamer RVers or Newbie RVers or even experienced RVers.

The decisions we’ve made concerning all of the above is:  Big, Used, 4 Down, Diesel, and Sam’s Club Members Mark Toilet Paper! We made those decisions early on in our RVing life and are still quite happy with those decisions!

To read more of his blogs go to

Ya’ll come back!

 

11.04.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD about a daughter of a woman with Early Onset Alzheimers

Sunday, November 5, 2017 – Please pray for the families of those who died or are wounded in the church shooting in Texas at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. We’re Southern Baptists like they are so it kind of hits home. Maybe church members who can legally carry a weapon need to bring their weapon with them to church. It breaks my heart that while these people were Worshiping our Lord they were gunned down. I pray that they all were Christians and are now with their Lord and Savior. I don’t find that I am finding the right words to say what I want here so let’s go on to the blog post below.Saturday, November 4, 2017 – When reading through this blog post today and watching the two videos, I felt the same strong need to share it with others as I did when this was originally published in 2015. This young woman’s mom was diagnosed at age 50 with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Ashley, the daughter was only 17. Her faith in God is in itself an inspiration. Listening to her tell how God used this disease to speak to her and grow her faith and her character. What I think I like the most is how she plays with her mom and makes her laugh. She says in the second video that they developed a special fun way of communicating with each other. I hope that those who love me and are in my life will watch both videos. The first is 7 minutes and the second is over 30 minutes but includes the first video in it. Chip knows how I love to be silly and this made me think of how I’d love my friends and family to be with me. Mama became like a little child and I’d call her pretty girl. She’d just smile and smile when I called her that. Don’t stay away from visiting me because you think I won’t remember. For the few moments that someone is visiting a dementia patient their well being is improved significantly. When I become like a child please still be my friend and come play with me.

This is the original blog post from February 2015:

always show kindnessI posted a blog last Friday so I hadn’t planned to post one today. HOWEVER, I saw an amazing video that needs to be shared now, not later. Actually two videos by the same person. I posted this all on Wednesday on my personal blog because I felt it important enough to share with the many people who follow that blog. Here it is below:

darker-purple-fancy-line-md

I know this is not my Alzheimer’s blog but this is so important to me that I wanted to share it on both blogs. Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia, is H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E but rarely do you hear anyone express the realities of it. When I watched this video just now it resonated such truth to me that I just had to share.

After I watched this, I wanted to know how her mom is doing now. I haven’t found much but did come across the most amazing video of this young woman giving a speech at Biola University. In it she describes the spiritual journey she’s gone through discovering God’s character and developing a relationship with Him. This combined with her talking about her mom’s condition is beyond inspiring. She is a very young caregiver that all caregivers can relate to and others of us can learn from. The first video is part of the second one so you can speed through that if you want to but most of the second video is new stuff.

With what I’ve experienced over the last few years with my brain, it’s become important to me for people to understand brain deterioration, whatever the cause. Feel free to share today’s blog with those you love.

I just had a friend write me about a situation she finds herself in with her mom who is showing signs of dementia. While I don’t know answers to everything I will always be glad to share things we did or tried with mama that were successful (or not successful so you don’t do that!) in a similar or same situation. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to someone else for help or comfort while dealing with this despicable disease.

1958090_770136129721286_2157984721598649208_nYa’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

darker-purple-fancy-line-md

Please come back next time when I’ll share some topics about end of life matters. If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Alzheimer’s) find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

ephesians 5 2

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published every Wednesday