10.30.14 More on the next step! Big announcement!!

friday 10The home inspection was done on our sticks and bricks house and we are awaiting the report! We met the buyers and they are very excited about buying the house.  They said she’s wanted an Acadian style home and he wanted a big garage.  That’s what they are getting!

We put an offer in on the land we loved in Amite, that I told you about last time.  We found out that evening, that someone else put in an offer the night before and it was accepted.  It was on the market for 5 years and then the evening before we put in an offer it’s swooped up and purchased.  As suspicious as it all seemed, we can do nothing but move on.

There is another piece of property to the left of that one, so we went back to check that one out yesterday.  Chip and Madisyn accompanied us.  Madisyn made friends with the little girl down the street and they played while we checked out the property.  The property rolls down hill to the pond so they enjoyed running up and down the hill. She’s sold on the property and Chip loved it also.  Here’s some pictures but they don’t do it justice!

 

from the back of the land
Looking across the road from the back of the property.
from front side of land
Looking back at the pond from the front side of the property
view of pond from middle of land
Closer look at the pond which is very low right now.
pond behind property
The pond from near the left end.

It was late when we got home, but our wonderful agent wrote up the offer late yesterday and we signed it at 6 am this morning!  They use this wonderful technology that allows us to just click on the document they produce in the place where we need to sign or initial and they have access to it immediately.

That offer was rejected so we reached deep in our pockets to up the offer which was submitted Friday morning. and we can now share with ya’ll god is good all the time 2that we are officially under contract!  We are both tickled and Roy is taking our contractor, Ronnie Glover, with him in he morning to show him the land.  We ordered the floor plans and have them now ready to start as soon as it’s ours!!  Amite, here we come!!!  Moving out of Hammond and up I-55 to Amite!!

 

I had a little vision scare this week but now that I’ve seen the retina doctor I can share about it.  I have the beginning of macular degeneration but it’s very slight and there is nothing needed at this time.  It may never get any worse, I just need to go back to the doctor if it gets worse since it may be becoming a macular hole.    To describe what this beginning looks like is that when I look at a letter on the eye chart I can’t see it, but if I look at the letter next to it I can see the first one.  Sometimes the center letters get all bunched up and sometime the very center one lays on its side.  When looking at the world my right eye compensates a lot so my vision is only a slight bit warped.

We are having our family over Sunday afternoon for a banana split party.  Yes they are all coming over again to our empty house.  The weather is suppose to be perfect that day. We’ll all stay outside under the covered porch playing and visiting one last time before the house is sold.  Kim and the twins are joining us for their first Chauvin/Rousell family gathering and I can’t wait to introduce our family to them!

Ya’ll have a wonderful weekend

 

10.25.14 William Carey University Chorale, playtime with the twins, looking at houses and land!

I’m so happy that Fall has actually arrived in Louisiana that when I found this, I knew I had to share it! come little leaves

Monday evening the William Carey University Chorale sang at our home church, Trinity Baptist Church.   How amazing it was to see several dozen young people walk in singing and fill up the choir loft.   When the orchestra started playing and the young people opened their mouths to sing all I could think was Wow!  Praise God for Christian young people with so much talent singing for the Lord.  One of the songs was “O Happy Day” and a lot of clapping and swaying was going on in the choir and in the congregation.  Dave and Jessica Bryant were members of our church before moving to Hattiesburg, MS where William Carey is located.  They work at William Carey now in the Music department, and have made their home there.  They are teachers so they are not in the student Chorale, but it was wonderful seeing both of them Monday.

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Our sweet wonderful hopefully soon to be daughter-in-law, Kim, asked me to go with her to take the twins to the doctor in Covington.  I was thrilled to get to spend time with Kim and the boys and really appreciate her asking me to do this.  The twins read (looked at) their books all the way there and preciously scampered around the waiting room playing before being called back.  It wasn’t a terribly pleasant visit for Braxton so when he was done I took him back to the waiting room so mama Kim could have a quiet room for Bentley to be check out.

Now that a contract has been signed we can move on to the next step in our housing adventure.  We want either a piece of land on which we can build a small house to rent, and park our RV on it when we come in town.  Or an already build house with enough land for us to park our RV on when we come in town.  Our real estate agent, whom you know we adore, took me around to several nearby16728_787907554599743_5997883008315077696_n cities looking at land and houses.   I looked at several on line before finding around 8 to look at.  Most in the price range I’m looking at are either not in good repair or not in a good neighborhood but one of the pieces of land was an immediate YES!!

I selected one of the houses and one piece of land for Roy to see on Friday.   He said no to the first  house in Hammond so we went to Amite to see the land. The city of Amite is about 17 miles away up the interstate.  Once you get off the interstate it’s probably another 13 miles to the land.  The rolling hills and pastureland we passed were breathtaking!  I fell in love with it when first seeing it and just knew Roy would love it also.  A few feet on the back of the property are part of a pond that goes behind several lots.  Across the street is a huge open piece of land with beautiful trees. the land is completely cleared (one large pine) and filled and the septic tank is already installed and the price is right.  It’s perfect for a small house and RV parking space.

I think from the minute we pulled up Roy was sold.  We met the man who lives next door and he gave us lots of helpful information about the property. He also helped us measure the property. We are meeting with a contractor tomorrow to look at floor plans and get a clearer picture of costs to build the house.  Once we knowi will neither grown up or age gracefully a little more, we’ll be better prepared to see if this is the direction we want to go in.

To some it may seem odd  for us to be buying a house right after selling one.  The extra income will be much welcomed, but the main reason is that we want to have a home to come to if we have to, or want to stop traveling.   And one that is not as big as our current house is with all the gardens.   Downsizing makes sense to us as we get older and now is the time!

I cut the grass at our house, for possibly the last time yesterday.  Unless it grows a lot before the final house walk through, it will be the last cutting.  The home inspection is schedule for next Tuesday.  Fun times!!  It’s such a wonderful feeling to finally be moving forward instead of being stagnant.  I Praise God for getting us this far and all He will guide us through to the end of this housing adventure.

romans 12 2 Hope you have a great weekend!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

10.22.14 We FINALLY have a signed contract to sell our house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click Here!

Did you hear the Hallelujah chorus steaming?? Well that’s because we have a signed contract our house. We thought we were going to sold signhave to settle for renting it but out of the blue a great offer arrives. I was at church for a concert when the text message came in. And the choir was singing “O Happy Day”.  How perfect is that!

It’s been a long process to get it sold and quite a roller coaster ride of emotions along the way.  Our real estate agents have been fantastic and have been baffled along with us that it wasn’t sold sooner.  God’s timing isn’t always the same as our timing but His timing is always perfect.

As long as the process to get to the act of sale goes smoothly, we should be free to leave early December if not before.  Our desire to get out west and explore that part of our beautiful country has been hard to curb at times but finally we’re getting there!  RVers will know this desire as “hitch itch”!

It has been wonderful to be back home with our family, especially having the time to get to know Chip’s Kimberly and the twins better.  We’ll have to deal with saying goodbye once again but  God will get us all through that and we’ll all be stronger for it.

We’re both happy with the agreement we reached which will allow us to get back to our travels. So here we go …..

westward ho

Roy’s last day at work at his temporary job at Southeastern Louisiana University is on October 31st. We’ve been parked in this yard for five months now and are more than ready to get started on our travels west.

We plan to head north through Mississippi and stay for a while in Arkansas where we first met up with Pappy Mellon. Last time there was in early May of 2013 and this trip will get us there in mid November so we’ll get to see the place in a different 51rose2inwaterseason. We both loved our stay at Holiday Mountain Resort there (a Coast to Coast Resort) and were looking forward to returning for a while. Unfortunately they close their Resort for the season on October 31st (BIG disappointment) but another campground is open in our Coast to Coast membership only 30 minutes away.51royrocking These two pictures are from our visit last year.

Our travels from there on haven’t been determined. We really couldn’t make plans before we knew when we would be traveling. We hope to go westward through Oklahoma to visit Matt and Alanna Traylor near Tulsa. Then on Shawnee, Oklahoma to see Susan Randels Ward, my dear friend from my childhood and youth at Lakeview Baptist Church in New Orleans. Then we’ll travel across the southwestern and central western states until winter is past and then head up northwest.

Our plans are to stay out west for the next year. It’s gonna be difficult to stay away from our family for so long but thank goodness for Skype and computers!

gods bigger plan We’ll keep you updated as our plans progress. Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

10.20.14 It’s darn cold in here Paw!

1037_437250876324324_419294462_nHave I said my husband is just downright brilliant!  Well he is, again!

Day two of the air conditioning issues we woke up to find the front air conditioning unit working again.  There was still concern because it didn’t work the day before. even though it was not fried.  Instead of replacing both units Roy tried out something.  He 10580063_738909322825143_2708364797766031631_nclimbed on top of the RV roof for the umpteenth time and took the well used, but still functioning capacitor, out of the other currently functioning air conditioner and put it into the fried one after removing the fried one.  Well golly gee, we then had air conditioning blowing quite nicely out of the rear air conditioner.  After calling around he headed out to buy two capacitors to replace both.

As I’ve said dozens of times, he needed a tool to install them that he use to have but sold when we sold everything to live this RV lifestyle.  That was just a little set back and after a trip to good old Lowe’s he installed both capacitors and we’re back in business!  For $100 he got both of them running great, savings a couple thousand dollars since we didn’t have to replace the whole unit

Two days later and we are living cool!  Here’s pictures of the fried capacitor and the new one.

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Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

aa happy tuesdayt

10.18.14 Q: Guess who has a new tiny washer/dryer! Guess whose A/C units are broken! A: Us and Us!

pumpkin rvNOTE:  This is a blog post that probably only current or future RVers will find interesting.

I’ve written before about our tiny washer/dryer combo  a few times when we’ve (actually Roy) needed to pull it out for servicing. It was a Splendide Model 2000S.  It’s extremely heavy and the limited space in an RV makes it more difficult to remove than a normal washer or dryer. There is no room in the little hole it lives in to reach over, under or on either side to get to anything. Two access areas are cut into the side wall of the closet so you can at least look in the back or fit one arm in there to try to work. 2000

Recently it started having “issues” again and one thing after another started breaking. First it was the handle that you open and close the door with. Then it was the detergent/fabric softener dispenser. Roy did what he could to repair those things but when the heat stopped blowing during the dryer cycle we declared it dead and in need of a replacement.

All of those things would be rather cheap to replace in a regular washer/dryer, but as with everything in an RV, these parts made specifically for an RV washer/dryer were highly overpriced. To replace the little door handle, which is plastic and maybe 4 inches high and 3 inches across, cost $90.00 A new detergent/fabric softener dispenser was $115.00. Don’t even want to say how much the price would have been to purchase a replacement for the heating element. Add to that the back-breaking labor of removing it to fix it, and the fact that part after part are failing, we decided to finally give in and relaxing saturdaypurchased a new one.

Washing clothes, during the week it took the new machine to get here, was just washing, no drying. Clothes came out wet and were hung up to dry wherever I could, all around the RV.  Shirts, pants, underwear, whatever all hung up to dry.  What a sight that was, no company that week! I’m thankful I could at least wash but I’m very glad that week is over.

Friday (yesterday) when Roy got off work our son Chip came over to work. Together they removed the old washer/dryer and installed the new one. Thank goodness for a strong son and husband!  The new model is a Splendide 2100XC.  It has a bigger capacity than the old one. While it does shake some when its drying it doesn’t sound or feel like a 747 is landing in the bedroom like the old one did. Since it’s 10 years newer than the old one it’s got lots of new features the older one didn’t like pre-wash, extra rinse, and low spin.

Now we have replaced the bed, the washer/dryer, the toilet and the ceiling lights since we bought it two years ago.  The RV is almost 10 years old so it is probably good that is all we’ve had to replace, so far!!!

The old washer/dryer going out!

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The new one coming in!

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While Roy was taking a nap on Thursday evening after work  I started to smell an electrical burning smell. I got up and could tell it was coming from the bedroom in the back. On my way to waking up Roy, a loud sizzle cracking sound coming from the ceiling went on for about 10 seconds. The sound was over before I got Roy awake but there was smoke in the bedroom which he could see. He checked everything inside that he could since it was dark outside by this time and getting on the roof of an RV at night is not something you do.

When I woke up Friday I noticed that the air condition in the living room and the one in the bedroom area were not running. They were on but the compressor wasn’t running. By the time Roy came home at 12:30 (he works half days on Fridays) the temperature inside the RV was 90 and it was in the low 80s outside. When I showered and dried my hair it was dripping wet in 20 minutes.

I am so thankful that the night time temperatures have been in the 50s this week because it was quite nice sleeping with the windows open Thursday night. Roy climbed on top of the roof Friday to check out the a/c problem after installing the washer and dryer with Chip.  Parts in the bedroom area air conditioner were fried. The front living area air conditioner had stopped for some reason.  Roy spent a lot of time on the roof trying to figure out what was wrong and to look into our options. Last night’s weather was just a wonderful as the night before so we slept with the windows open. If this was two weeks ago we’d have sweat all night, or slept on the carpet in the sticks and bricks house bedroom or taken Chip up on his offer for us to sleep at his house.  Instead we got to sleep at home!

Today brought a different set of air conditioning issues and options and I’m going to stop here with this story. Roy is out looking at pricing for options since replacing both air conditioners is quite expensive. When he returns and we know what it will take to be cool during the day again I’ll share!  I have a brilliant husband so I know he’ll come back with something promising!!!

Life in an RV is different and on occasion challenging, like this week!  We might have many, many uneventful RV related weeks before the next thing happens.  Let’s hope so!

Ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!1893_714383375258783_1610695350_n

 

10.13.14 Updates, RVillage Ambassadors, upgraded RV lighting and book recommendation

SmileGodLovesYouPoster We are still enduring one of the most frustrating experiences in recent years – trying to sell or even rent our house and all the ups and downs that go with that. We had our first offer yesterday but it was low so we countered and they decided to move on. We’ve already lowered the price $10,000 so no offer will be accepted unless it’s real close to the asking price. There’s also a problem with getting the for rent listing out on MLS, but this  is being worked on. Right now only agents have been able to see it which means it is unseeable (not sure that’s a word!) to the general public that is looking for a house to rent.

While I was writing just now a man stopped by with his sonsroller coaster ride 2 and  asked to see the house.  He loved it and is bringing his significant other back in a couple of hours.  He loved the man cave garage, the surround sound system in the living room and everything else. This is such a roller coaster ride with the highs of showings and the lows of not selling coming almost daily! Just heard that the couple that saw it yesterday really like it so maybe, just maybe – oh no here goes the roller coaster ride again!

A friend from my youth, September, is having knee replacement surgery today. Please pray for her. She sent me a package this week and when I opened it up I was surprised to see fall colored leaves! She lives in New Hampshire and I’ve commented about how beautiful the pictures she posts are of the trees with their glorious color.  So she sent a little of New Hampshire to me!

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The company I work for and that Roy and I love sent us our RVillage Ambassadors t-shirts and cap.  We now look more official when we visit RV parks to get them to claim their parks or when we’re telling other RVers about RVillage.  An Ambassador is a non paid position where people who have some knowledge of RVillage try to spread the word through various means.  We have meetings online to learn all the newest developments so we can explain them to others who have questions.  It really helps the small paid staff not be spread so thin trying to do it all!  Here’s our new goodies – the t-shirts do have arms, I just folded them under!

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Roy wanted  to upgrade our interior lighting to 4″ LEDs for a while and I put him off as long as I could!  They are not cheap and we need 30 of them.  The picture below is after two of the three lights over one of the sofas were changed out to the new ones.  The one on the right is the old light.  What a difference these new technology bigger lights has made.  Old folks have trouble seeing details without a lot of light and this helps both Roy and I see so much better.   The ones down the center of the RV are dimable which is very helpful since when they are all on it’s like theater lighting!  I see dirt I haven’t ever seen before so we’ll have an even cleaner RV with help from our new lights.

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A young woman who grew up in our church has just added published author to her long list of accomplishments.  She’s now quite ravens stormgrown up and is a wife and mom of two teenagers and one little one, all girls!  Her name is Rebecca Bankston Willoughby and her first novel is Raven’s Storm.

I was in the middle of reading the 12 Comet Clement series when her book came out but I finally got to read it and I’m quite impressed.  She writes more like a well seasoned author then a first timer!   When I started reading I could not put it down.

Here’s a little bit about Rebecca:

Rebecca Bankston Willoughby is an international award winning artist whose career began in the corporate world of commercial art. After years of traveling around the south, Rebecca settled into family life in her home town of Pumpkin Center, Louisiana with her husband Donny and their 3 daughters. With a deep love of her home state, Rebecca has chosen the fictional town of Davout, Louisiana as the setting of her first novel. She invites you to enjoy meeting the citizens of this quaint little southern town one book at a time.

Here’s a summary of the book from the Amazon website.

There are a lot of things to love about growing up in a small rural community in south Louisiana, but for lifelong resident Paige Barksdale, there is nothing she loves more than her family, her horse, … and Canan McCord. Unfortunately, only the horse and family return her love in equal portion. Even though she has finally reached the coveted status of adulthood, Canan still sees Paige as a child. Canan McCord is a man’s man, living his dreams. As VP of his father’s land management company, Canan spends his days in the woods surveying timber and heads right back out on the weekends to hunt and fish. Life is good. He even has a beautiful, accomplished girlfriend who is dropping strong hints about wanting to be promoted to “wife” — but something is holding him back from buying that ring. Something that looks an awful lot like the young, raven-haired beauty who grew up next door.  To Paige, who fancies herself in love, the ten years between them is just a number. But to Canan, ten years seems much too wide a gap for love to cross. The harder he tries to stay away from Paige, however, the more she draws him in. When attraction flames to life in a duck blind, Canan is forced to see that Paige is much more than a little girl, but as quickly as the flame ignites, he rejects the idea that they could have a future together.  As Paige comes to terms with the idea of a future without the man who holds her heart, a violent hurricane strikes the tiny town of Davout, Louisiana. As wind and rain sweep across the Bayou State, lives are lost and Paige and Canan are forced to discover who they really are–and what truly counts in life . . . and in love.

 

I was so happy to hear that this is just the first in a series of book set in Davout, Louisiana. I love the small town aspect of the book and how she includes her beloved LSU into the story!  Great job Rebecca and anyone interested can buy it on Amazon for your kindle at only $3.99.  I highly recommend Rebecca’s first book and look forward to many to come!

Roy has three more weeks to work at Southeastern ending October 31st so he’s into a 15 day work day countdown. We know what a blessing this has been to have this income since we’ve been home.  God’s timing is always perfect and we have to remember that always even at times like this when we’ve had to wait so long for the right buyer or renter to come along.  Very hard to do but always the right thing.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!