04.30.16 Three Years Living On The Road!

dora sign on rvSaturday, April 30, 2016 –  Wow, it’s almost May already!

Roy and I have been full timing on the road for three years now!  And we’re still married!!!  I actually think our marriage is better than ever since we started this “Thinking Outside the Box” lifestyle. I’m going to try to summarize the last three years in one blog today.

If you’ve been following this blog you will know everything I’m going to say, in great detail!  If you’re new to following our blog this will kinda, sorta catch you up to date on what’s been going on in the Chauvin’s life the last three years.

The heroic Conroe, TX police department!
The heroic Conroe, TX police department!

After a hair raising experience trying to purchase a motor home in Conroe, TX,, in October 2012 we purchased Dora our Motorhome in Louisiana in November of 2012.  We lived in it in the driveway of our sticks and bricks, waiting for the house to sell.  Roy retired from Southeastern in January of 2013.

When the house stubbornly didn’t sell we rented it out, I retired, and we headed north in April of 2013, three years ago.  We traveled through and saw lots of beauty in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota before landing in Minnesota.  While in South Dakota we became South Dakota residents which helped us reduce our automobile insurance by almost half.

We lived in Minnesota for several months right on the Canadian border at Northern Lights Resort as workampers.  Workampers are people who live in any type of RV and want to work a bit rickspic4while in a specific area.  We chose Minnesota because it was as far away as we could get from the summer heat in Louisiana.  Summers in Minnesota are blissfully wonderful! It was still snowing there when we arrived in early May – weird for two Louisiana kids!

We left Minnesota in October of 2013 headed south towards Louisiana for Christmas.  We traveled through and saw a lot of wonderful things in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2013 with our families.  We decided that future visits home needed to include a more permanent place for us to park Dora, our motorhome than hopping from local RV resort to another local RV resort.

http _99designs.com_attachments_32835390~7f1482ef84aa335d9d2430b0efa8abf95d3ff21b_viewI started an online administration job with a company called RVillage.com where I still work.  It allows me to work while on the road, on my own schedule for much less than full time hours.

2014-01-18_11-01-31_397We spent January and February 2014 traveling along the Gulf Coast and through Florida seeing Disneyworld, St. Augustine where we visited some great friends and had our windows redone so we could see clearly through them!

In March we headed to San Diego, Texas where we took care of a Ranch there for two months while the owners were in Europe.   We returned home in May where we learned our sticks and bricks house renters were going to move out since their lease was up.

We worked hard getting the sticks and bricks ready to put back on the market and we finally did that.  During summer 2014 Roy took a temporary job at Southeastern (where he retired from) doing computer hardware work, just like he did before retiring.

In December 2014 our house finally sold!  We found a beautiful piece of land in Amite, Louisiana about 30 miles from Hammond.  We bought it, did lots of work on the property, built a small 20150325_130951house and created a parking pad with adjoining cement patio for Dora’s new home!  We have full hookups and a beautiful garden here to enjoy while we’re home.  We rented out the house to a wonderful couple who take care of it like it’s their own.  God’s blessing abound!

In May 2015 we headed west and saw the majestic beautify of the west, north west and south west.  We traveled through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado (oh wow!), Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, 20151002_150710 (Medium)Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.  We saw so many amazing sights during this 6 months of travel!  I’ve uploaded thousands of photos to this blog site so if you want to see them check out May 2015 to October 2015 blog posts.

By the time we got to Texas in October 2015, we were fairly homesick and drove straight through Texas to get home to Louisiana in late December.  We will make a trip just through Texas sometime in the future.

We stayed home for a few months this time since there was Thanksgiving, Christmas, our son Chip’s wedding in January 2016, and 20160116_174808two granddaughter’s birthdays in March as well as a family gathering for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Metairie. Living in an RV we can travel when we want, so staying home for these important events was a no brainer!  In between the family events Roy had full knee replacement surgery near Memphis Tennessee in January where we stayed for two weeks after so he could recover.

Before leaving home Roy designed and ordered online transparent signs to adhere to Dora’s back side and to Boot’s (our truck) tailgate.   People ask us about them while we’re on the road and it’s turned out to be a great way for folks to learn about our blog since they both have rosalynandroy.com at the bottom!

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We left Louisiana in late March  2016 traveling along the Gulf Coast headed for several months traveling up the East Coast.  Well,  after one month on the road we learned that Madisyn (our 7 year old granddaughter) was going to play softball.  After loving seeing her dad and his brother play ball for so many years, we just couldn’t miss this opportunity to have fun seeing Madisyn play.  This meant packing up and heading back to Louisiana about 3 weeks ago.  We’ll be here until after her last game, end of May.

That wraps up our last three years, quite summarized.  I’ve written over 500 blog posts during this time so you can see that this is truly just a summary!

We’ve been blessed to have a family and church family back home that makes returning a joy .  We make an effort to spend quality time with Chip and his family while we’re home.  Lots of memories for us to look back on!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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02.07.16 A little this and a little that!

Sunday, February 7, 2016 –  Roy’s knee replacement update:  We’re almost to 3 weeks after surgery and Roy’s knee is healing well.  The significant bruising has paled, the pain level is a lot better, incision is healing buildingwell and Roy’s getting around better every day.   He does his rehab exercises every couple of days and no longer needs a cane or walker.  Here’s contact information for his Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Schrader with Midsouth Orthopedic.  His office is located at:  927 Cordova Station Ave, Cordova, TN 38018.

His phone number is http://www.midsouthorthopedics.com/  There is a huge amount of information on the website.  Read all the articles, learn what you can about the techniques he uses.  You will not know until you see him in the office what type of surgery he can do for you.  It’s well worth the 7 hour drive to Cordova, right outside of Memphis, to see him.  The nearby Hyatt is a perfect place to stay the night before and/or after the doctor’s visit.  Dr. Schrader’s office has a deal with Hyatt to get you a discount on your stay at the Hyatt.  It’s $99 which isn’t cheap but we loved the hotel and their breakfast buffet.  Definitely not

A lot of patients seen by other Orthopedic doctors who recommend a full knee replacement, are able to have just a partial knee replacement with Dr. Schrader.  Roy, unfortunately, was in great need of a full knee replacement, even with Dr. Schrader doing it.  The downtime with a partial is much less than for a full and the partial can be done mostly outpatient.  Yes, really!!!   

We’ve decided to drive to Cordova in Boots, our truck, for Roy’s follow-up appointment  on February 25th and stay in the Hyatt for a couple of nights.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

Dinner with the family:  We ate dinner last evening with Chip, Misty, Kallie and Madisyn at La Caretta in Amite, Chip and Misty’s treat!!!  When I was thanking Chip after dinner he said “Well Mom, Ya’ll fed me every day of my life!”  True for 18 plus years!  The Mariachi band played throughout the evening and even serenaded us at our table for one song!

geaux denver broncosSuper Bowl:  We went out shopping earlier in the day yesterday and picked up lots of stuff to make snacks and desserts with for the Super Bowl.  Yes, just Roy and I but it just doesn’t seem right not to have special foods for the special game.  We will be cheering for the Denver Broncos this year.  Peyton Manning is a New Orleans boy just like we are, I’d love to see him end his career with a Super Bowl win.  As long as he’s not playing against the Saints we want him to win.  We toured the Denver Broncos field, Sports Authority field at Mile High when we were there last summer and it is an amazing place.  So only for one day, and one day only, we will be Denver Broncos fans!

A horrible event: Our neighbors down the street have two extremely large Great Danes (150 plus pounds and it’s head comes up to my shoulder).  Our neighbors who rent from us have several little chihuahuas and one tiny miniature dachshund (maybe under 5 pounds). Snookie, the dachshund recently gave birth to babies fathered by our shared adopted black mut dog from down the street that we call Jake.  The babies are all gone now so it was back to just Shookie and Jake.

Yesterday evening before going to meet Chip’s family the female Great Dane attacked and mauled the tiny dachshund.  We saw it happening out our RV windows in our front side yard.  I screamed at the dog to let go since usually when they get hollered at they stop whatever they are doing.  This time it did not stop.  I also screamed to our renters who I thought were inside their house.  It attacked over and over the little dog and then picked it up by the collar swinging it back and forth.  I took off out of the RV thinking I’d stop it (yes you don’t think clearly when something like that happens.)  As I got around the front of the RV I saw that our renters had started up their motorcycle and were getting ready to head out for a ride which is why they didn’t hear either my screams or the awful noise the dogs were making.  The great dane’s name is Nola and the chihuahuas’ name was Snookie.  Once I got their attention they set out to find where Snookie was.  Roy says he saw the great dane drop the dog and take off for his yard about 150 feet away.  Snookie somehow made its way back to the front porch which is where she was found.

After spending all evening and into the night at the vet where they found Snookie had a punctured lung, the bill to repair everything would be over $4,000 which was something they couldn’t afford and the owner of the great dane said he couldn’t afford.  Snookie was put to sleep yesterday evening.   Our renters love their puppies (I’m sure they are all grown dogs but they are so tiny I call them puppies) and this was so heartbreaking to have happen.  Seeing this happen before my very eyes changed something in me.  I’ve loved those big dogs down the street yet never liking the loads of poop they liked to leave in our yard when they got out.  They have an electric fence which mostly keeps them in but the owner admitted that Nola is afraid of the electricity in the fence and does what she can to remove her collar which is what she did yesterday.  After finding out that Nola already attacked one of their other dogs Mia in the past and then seeing what she is capable of today I believe she should be put to sleep.  That’s a decision the owners or the law will have to make.  Roy and I aren’t Snookie’s owners but we both grieved this morning wanting to do something we couldn’t for our friends, bring their little Snookie back.

Dog owners, if your dog has shown any signs of aggressiveness please do what you can to protect others from it.  A loving pet is one thing but a vicious large dog is not a pet I want around anyone in my family.  I can only imagine what it would have been like had the dog turned on a tiny child.  Please be in prayer that Kevin and Shannon can come to terms with this loss and can continue handling the situation with the other neighbors in the way they are.  They are great folks and are so good and kind to us that we hated seeing this happen to them.

20160206_162204Beautiful flowers: Shannon gave us over 1000 flower bulbs (crocus, tulips, daffodils, paperwhites and a couple of other names I don’t know) that I’ve started planting around the property and giving to some friends.  That’s 1000 tiny holes that need to be dug to plant them.  I planted about 500 and there is at least that many remaining!  It’s past their prime planting time in the South but if they don’t bloom this year they should next year.

Toothless: I lost part of one of my front teeth the other day and dug deep in our pockets to get that fixed.  I have loved my normal dentist Dr. Annette Theriot but I learned she retired recently.  She’s way younger than me so I was quite shocked that she retired.  The dentist who took her place Dr. Jake Paige was just wonderful, very kind and did not hurt me at all.  They don’t give laughing gas at this dentist but something about how they do the work makes it not make any difference.  I now have a better looking tooth than I had before!!!  Let money in my pocketbook but a lovely tooth!

I’ve wanted to update ya’ll on my social security disability process.  I finally have a determination from them (over a year waiting on this) and will share it with you in my next blog post.  It’s Saturday evening and we’re hopefully going to get out tomorrow to go to church!  Yay!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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01.17.16 On the road to Tennessee!

20160117_072428Sunday, January 17, 2016 – Left dark and early this morning from our serene little slice of Heaven in Amite, Louisiana. We are headed for Hornsby, Tennessee about an hour east of Memphis.

We took Interstate 55 up to Highway 7 and should arrive in Hornsby by 4-5 pm today. We are way more exhausted and sleep deprived than we anticipated from all the activity of the last few days, a later night last night than usual for us and definitely a much earlier wake up today than normal! Poor Roy is having to pull over every hour or so to walk around outside so he can stay alert! Me, I have the heated seat turned on to soothe my aching back and I’m RVillage working as needed.

Monday is Roy’s pre-op visit at Dr. Schraeder’s office in Bartlett, Tennessee. Tuesday Roy is the second person on the surgery schedule. Don’t have a time yet for the surgery but at least we know it will be early.

We just stopped to get diesel for Dora because it was only $1.66 a gallon! That’s diesel, not gasoline!

We have arrived at Big Buck Campground in Hornsby, TN and are calling it a night. A 7 hour trip took us almost 12 hours. Combined with a much less than normal sleep last night means I’m crawling in bed right now!

12508805_10208827547032940_2245045656470865454_nI’ll write tomorrow about Chip and Misty’s beautiful wedding. They too are on their way to Tennessee but at the far eastern side whereas we are at the far western side. No parents allowed near those two this week!

Here’s one picture of the newlyweds with more promised to come!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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01.16.16 Chip and Misty Chauvin

12496486_10207150887963097_663317686061302264_oSaturday, January 16, 2016 – This was the day Chip married Misty and they became Chip and Misty Chauvin.

Misty, the stunningly beautiful Bride
Chip, the dashing and charming Groom
Madisyn, the adorable Flower Girl
Kallie, the elegant, lovely Maid of Honor
Roy, the dashing and husband Best Man
Rosalyn, well she came along for the ride!!!

That’s our family!

Chip and Misty were wed at Soul’s Harbor Church in Hammond Louisiana followed by the reception at AMVETS in Springfield, LA.  I selected a few photos to share.  They were taken by others and me so they are mostly not professional photos but they certainly captured some nice moments!

WEDDING PHOTOS

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Off to Tennessee (eastern Tennessee) they went as we went off to Tennessee (western Tennessee – far far away from the newlyweds) for Roy’s full knee replacement surgery.  More on this long awaited surgery in our next blog.

20160116_201100Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Chip Matthew Chauvin!  Thanks to everyone who came to the wedding to give their support to this wonderful young couple.  Big thanks to everyone who lent their assistance to making this a beautiful night for them.

I love sharing these great times in our life and our families life and am very thankful that Chip is okay with me sharing their joy with you!

There may be more photos once the ones from the real photographers release theirs, so there’s more to come!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

01.24.16 Roy goes under the knife!!! :) Finally!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016 – The long awaited knee replacement surgery is now behind us!

We arrived at St Francis Hospital – Bartlett at the way too early time of 5:30 am.  Since it is a 90 minute drive that meant we left at 4:00 am.20160119_061042  Next came all the normal pre-op activities including Dr. Schrader coming in and putting his initials on Roy’s right leg.

I visited with a lovely lady Claudia in the waiting room while Roy was in surgery.  Got a couple of calls from the operating room with updates, all good!

20160119_121422They brought Roy to his hospital room pretty groggy.  He came in and out of it all afternoon.  He had a Q Ball pumping pain medicine into his knee from the time of the surgery until we left.  This kept his pain levels much lower than if he had not had that.  Dr. Schrader glues his incision shut so there are no staples or sutures to remove later.  I plan to write about the difference of this type of procedure compared to older forms of knee replacement surgeries.  Even thought it is a newer form of surgery it is still major surgery.

While Roy was in the hospital their physical therapists came twice a day starting just 2 hours after the surgery.  They even helped him learn how to properly walk up and down steps since we have those at the entry way of our RV.20160119_141044

 

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20160120_143433His nurses took great care of him so I felt comfortable to return to Dora our RV that evening after Dr. Schrader came by to check on him and tell us that the surgery went perfectly and Roy was doing really well. Another video of Roy making progress on day two:

Most people have partial knee replacements and their stay as a patient of Dr. Schrader is only overnight.  Roy had a full knee replacement so he stayed two nights.

After getting the all clear from doctor and hospital staff we made our way back to Dora for his time of healing.

Day by day he’s getting stronger and better able to get around.   It’s been snowing here in Hornsby, Tennessee a bit and Friday he couldn’t stand just looking out the window at it so we made a short, very brief trip down the stairs and stood in the snow for a minute!  Here’s some pictures from that event!20160122_100447 20160122_162429 20160122_162451 20160122_162523 20160122_162537 20160122_162614

We’re now with Amedisys Home Health.  Our Physical Therapist, Patty came for her first visit yesterday.  Roy was all happy when she arrived and was pretty worn out when she left.

Little by little he’s able to do more for himself so he’s progressing well.  Still needs pain medicine but probably not as often.  He falls asleep often because of the pain medicine but his leg is resting so it’s a good thing! His leg is still swollen so his mobility isn’t great yet.  The area where they applied a tourniquet during surgery is turning quite ugly purple green and blue and is quite sore.

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Today is Sunday and we’re watching a local pastor preach on television, so not the same as being in church but Roy’s not there yet.  Football comes on later and I’m doing my RVillage work.  Roy walks around inside our RV with his walker really well.  He ventured outside this morning (no more snow, just very cold) and walked down the street and back.  Here’s a video of how well he’s doing with walking.

We are not really liking how cold it is here (RVs are not very insulated so even with propane heat and an electrical heater we’re not warm).  Roy will have Physical Therapy every day this coming week and we will probably leave here Saturday headed to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for several weeks.

We’re use to being able to go outside our RV a lot.  Can’t do that at all here with the frigid temps, so we’re kind of having cabin fever after just a few days.  It’s suppose to be in the 40s and 50s this coming week (that’s a heat wave compared to the teens and 20s this past week) so hopefully that will help us be able to get outside more.

That’s it catching ya’ll up on Roy’s progress post surgery!  Time for some football watching!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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01.08.16 The new Dora sign came today!!

Friday, January 8, 2016 – The new Dora sign came today!!! Here she is  right out of the shipping tube!

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She’s now on the back of our RV in place of the one with rosalynandroy.com in white.  Mucho better!!  We have a lot of followers on the blog and hope this will help us meet up with some of them in our travels.

dora sign on rv

We’re in countdown mode to our January 17th departure.  Roy’s stocking up on canned cokes and gatorade which we drink while we’re traveling!  We’re going to be grilling dinner for the next few days and then the BBQ pit will get cleaned and stored until we reach our destination.

Roy removed our bicycles (mine was maybe never used and Roy’s only a couple of times) from the back of Dora.  Two less things to haul around!  While we’ve been home we’ve done a fairly good job of unloading weight we don’t need to carry around! Most of what we unloaded is now stored in our storage building on our property here in Amite.

Roy’s foot is now swollen (not just the toe) and some parts are purple.  Sure hope he heals quickly.  He’s Chip’s best man!

We’re having some quiet nice days this week.  I have a photo contest to administer on RVillage this weekend and that’s always fun and it keeps me busy!  You may remember me telling you about meeting my boss Hillary in San Francisco.  Well, she’s stepped back from that position and will be taking some time away from work to help with family matters.  She’s in Hawaii right now!!  RVillage hired someone to replace her, Deborah Thompson.  She’s been an RVillager since the beginning, like us.  She’s quite capable of doing the job.  I’m loving working with her already and look forward to a long work relationship.  Hopefully we’ll get to meet her in person when we travel throughout the East the next couple of years.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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01.07.16 Update on life in the Chauvin’s world!

Thursday, January 7, 2016 – We’re in whirlwind mode right now! Getting everything around the house and RV ready so we can to take to the road again on the 17th, Chip’s wedding coming up on the 16th and all that those two entail.

Roy recently constructed a new storage area in the bedroom including a place to store our upgraded larger television. It was a many stepped process starting with purchasing a new larger television and a movable support bracket for the television. He removed everything from the hole above the washer and dryer including the old television and all wiring and supports.

This picture is of the original television the RV came with.

oldest tv in bedroom

This is the newer television that he installed when we purchased the RV. He just removed it, creating the new storage space.

newer tv out from wall To install the new one he created a new bracket and installed a sliding television mount.

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Then he built a wall to separate the new storage area from the new television.

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Now that the television was installed the the separating wall built he installed the shelving in the new space. The space is 13″ wide by 30″ deep. Lots of “stuff” fits in there!!20151210_102917Since it looks really ugly with lots of stuff stored in there we purchased unfinished cabinet doors. After purchasing three or four different stains and winding up combining a couple Roy was able to match color of the the doors on the closet. The louvered doors that cover the washer/dryer have changed color over time with the heat from the dryer so it’s not a perfect match with those but it’s difficult to tell the difference between the new storage doors and the closet doors. Roy does everything so well with so much attention to detail!

20151229_093816 20151229_103950Here’s a photo of the finished product.

new tv picture

So much of our “stuff” that was crammed into our closet is now stored in the new space which makes our closets sooooo much nicer!

Roy baked one of his “family famous” lemon meringue pies for our new daughter in law Misty and Kallie! He baked a second one for he and I so I can attest that it was absolutely delicious. He hasn’t cooked one in many years but wanted to feed Misty’s love for all things lemon!

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I made a batch of chocolate caramel turtles, which are all gone now!

20151226_163747Since we started RVing 3 years ago we’ve talked about having signs made for Dora (our RV) and Boots (our tow truck). Thinking it was going to be very expensive we let the idea just sit there. Roy recently found an online company that made the ones below on a transparent background! And the cost was quite reasonable! On Dora’s the wording that says rosalynandroy.com is in white so it doesn’t show up on the white paper background.

20151231_114001 20151231_114007 They are now installed and we are quite happy with the look. The Dora one’s white wording doesn’t show up like we thought it would so a new one with black rosalynandroy.com has been ordered. Roy also discovered after he put on the Dora one, and had bubbles he couldn’t get out. that it was best to spray the surface with Windex first. The Boots sign went on much smoother using Windex. The new one for Dora will get the Windex treatment first for sure!20151231_125152 20151231_132735 20151231_132804

The water in our pond is the highest we’ve seen it. The water came over the culvert and almost covered the white bench on the side of the pond.

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So that our flower gardens are left as nice as they can be, I’ve started pulling weeds and the tiny oak trees that seem to have grown a foot already from the acorns. That will take a few days to complete since there are many shoots of rye grass that crept into the gardens and will take over if not removed!

Another of Roy’s projects was to create a place on the back of the new storage door for me to hang my necklaces! He did and I LOVE IT!!! 20160106_201346 20160106_202432Last week I cooked two big pots of chili which are now frozen waiting to be served at Chip and Misty’s wedding reception. Madisyn, Kallie and her cousin Haylee are going to join me next week to make some more things for the wedding, including oreo cookie balls!!!

Roy has been shoveling wheelbarrow loads of dirt from under the storage building to fill in holes in the yard and by the pond. Not just 4 or 5 wheel barrows full of dirt, more like 20 wheel barrows full! He gets so into the digging that his foot slipped yesterday and now his right foot big toe is swollen and purple, possibly broken. follow me button He’s in a lot of pain, but he’s keeping it elevated and protected. Please pray that he heals quickly!

This is not nearly all we’ve been up to lately but it’s all I can remember for now!!

You can start the year off right by “Following” our blog. To “Follow” our blog, enter your email address on the right hand side where you see Follow This Blog. Each time a new blog post is published, you will receive an email letting you know it’s available for you to view.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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12.31.15 Reflections on God’s Blessings in 2015

January 1, 2016 – When reflecting on all the blessings God has bestowed upon us this year once again we were back on the road traveling. During this year’s travels we explored all of the western states from the top to the bottom of our country. Here’s a map showing where we traveled this year. Almost 8,000 miles of travel!!AZARCACOIDKSLAMTNVNMOKORTXUTWAWYxlg

The western states of America are huge states, so traveling through them took quite a while. There are huge deserts, almost no grass, beautiful mountains and canyons, cactus, caves, volcanoes, tumble weeds, dust storms, very low humidity, and so much more there that this old Louisiana couple were blessed to experience. There were fun days, learning days, oohs and aahs days. Each new day brought with it a breathtaking adventure and we loved every minute of it. We always TRY to rest in between adventures. Sometimes that doesn’t work out and we are on the go everyday. We appreciate our down time when those resting days happen.

Each month of the year below is a link to our blog’s posts for that month. If anything below makes you want to find out more, please click on the link to take you there! It will open in a new window so you can always come back to this page.

January through April 2015 found us in full construction mode building our new house in Amite, Louisiana

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

From the slab, to the framing, adding plumbing and electricity, then sheet rocking, roofing and siding, painting, wood trimming, appliances, bathroom and kitchen equipment, counter tops, cabinets and doors finished up the house. Roy built our storage building and the water well shed to match the house. Pine trees were pruned and thinned out and seemingly tons of dirt were brought in and pushed around all over the property. A gushing waterway was harnessed and a nice grassy area created in the back by the pond.

On the RV side there was a patio poured, gravel pad created for Dora and full hook ups installed! Landscaping for the house and our RV space wrapped it all up. What a wild and wonderful experience that time was.

Madisyn’s 6th birthday, Easter with the family, Madisyn’s kindergarten graduation all took place while we were home in Amite and we madisyn grannie paw paw loved being at each one! We got to spend lots of special time with Madisyn fishing in our pond, rolling down our hill and planting flowers and plants. In addition to getting to visit with many friends and family while we were home we ended our time home at our church’s annual picnic at Camp Living Waters where we ate, swam, slid down the large slide and visited!

We found wonderful folks to rent our house to and we started making traveling plans.

In early May we set out to live on the road again. This year’s journey took us through every state out west. Our route took us through: Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and back to Louisiana.

Month by month here’s where we traveled to and what we saw! A link to that month’s main page in the blog is provided next to each month. If something catches your interest and you want to see more about it you can click on that and go there!

May 2015

 

ARKANSAS

While staying at Angler’s Holiday Mountain Resort in Mountain View, Arkansas the river waters rose to overflowing.

We enjoyed:

20150515_194710Banjo and guitar pickin in the square several times

Melons Country store

City Park in town

Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View

Loco Ropes Zip lining

Blanchard Springs Cave

 

OKLAHOMA

While staying at Terra Starr Park in Checotah, OK( near Tulsa, OK) we traveled to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to see Matt and Alanna Traylor and their girls! We visited with them and went to church with them.

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We also enjoyed:

20150528_144252Oklahoma Renaissance Festival in Muskogee, OK near Tulsa

Myriad Gardens OK City–One of Oklahoma City’s public spaces, offering its visitors a 15 acre natural escape in the very heart of the metro known as downtown Oklahoma City.

Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory within the Gardens grounds

Outdoor Symbolic Memorial in Oklahoma City where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed on April 19, 1995

20150528_141205While staying at the Shawnee Exposition Center in Shawnee, OK we visited with Susan Randels, my childhood pastor’s daughter, who was my dear friend throughout my childhood and my youth!

June 2015

KANSAS

While staying at Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, Kansas we toured the City of Wichita and we enjoyed:

Wichita River Fest a big festival around parts of downtown Wichita. We got free bottles of Sweet Baby Rays there!

STRATACA Underground Salt Museum – A Journey Into The Dark – a subterranean adventure 650 feet below the earth’s surface in Halstead

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Halstead

Along our travels in Kansas we stopped in Meade Kansas – Dalton Gang Hideout

COLORADO

Shady Grove RV Campground in Seibert, Colorado – our least liked park and city. No internet, nothing at all to do and nothing within many miles of us! When you’ve just arrived in Colorado that’s not the place to be stuck at!

Between Seibert and Monument we toured the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center

While staying at Colorado Heights RV Park in Monument, Colorado we enjoyed:

 

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Garden of the Gods

Pikes Peak by car – Boots!

Pikes Peak by Cog Railway

US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs

Red Rock Canyon

Palmer Park

Olympic Training Center in Manitou

North Pole in Cascade, CO

Cave of the Winds

We drove to Denver, Colorado to enjoyed:

Sports Authority Field at Mile High Denver Broncos and

Colorado Rockie’s stadium Coors Field

Diamond Campground in Woodland Park, Colorado was our favorite park along our travels. The park itself was nice but what made it for us was the friendly seasonal folks who lived there from May to October every year. We may like to do that in the future!

 

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While staying there we enjoyed:

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Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine and the Heritage Center – under ground mining

Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V)in Victor, Colorado – open pit mining

July 2015

WYOMING

While staying at Wind River View Campground in Boulder, Wyoming we enjoyed:

 

20150712_142907Big Piney Chuckwagon BBQ at Sublette County Fairgrounds for 4th of July

Pinedale Aquatic Center where we enjoyed swimming and playing

Green River Rendezvous and Pageant

Rendezvous Historical Tour

Pitchfork Western Fondue

Native American Drum and Dance Performance in Boulder

Rendezvous Beard Shaving

While staying at Gros Ventre Campground (a National Park Service campground) near Grand Tetons we enjoyed:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Grand Teton Mountain Range – Jackson Lake Dam Not far from our campground is a beautiful 44 mile scenic route around the Grand Teton|

While staying at Canyon Campground – a United States Forest Service campground (part of Gallatin National Forest which connects to Yellowstone National Park) we enjoyed:

Two days of touring Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful Geyser

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August 2015

MONTANA

OB-AP050_HUTCEL_20070829115328While staying at Conestoga Campground in White Sulphur Springs, Montana where we enjoyed:

Castle Museum and Carriage House, known by locals as ‘The Castle’.

Springdale Hutterite Colony and the Hutterite’s Farmer’s Market

We did not see a Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, KMart, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King or other big chain stores in over a month.

Glacier National Park – four hours from our park so it took a very long day to tour it

While staying at Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge, Montana – town with lots of museums, we enjoyed:

Frontier Montana Museum

20150811_094036 (Medium)Yesterday’s Playthings Raggedy Ann and Andy and other dolls

Old Prison Museum and Montana Auto Museum

Cottonwood City was a neat little replica of Deer Lodge in the old days

Left Deer Lodge, Montana and traveled to the RV repair shop at Western States CAT for several hours having a new alternator installed

IDAHO

Stayed overnight at Walmart in Smelterville, Idaho

WASHINGTON

Stayed over night at Walmart

Tri County Batteries shop in Kinnewick, Washington – replaced four house batteries

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OREGON

While staying at Cascade Meadows RV Resort in La Pine, Oregon we enjoyed:

use 11The Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint, in Terrebonne,Oregon

Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Deschutes National Forest

High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon

Lava Land and Lava Butte

Lava River Cave in Bend, Oregon – a cave I had a difficult time in

La Pine State Park, in La Pine, Oregon

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September 2015

CALIFORNIA

While staying at Kamp Klamath RV Resort in Klamath, CA we enjoyed:

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Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Pacific Ocean

Gold Bluffs Beach in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Trees of Mystery

Fern Canyon, an unforgettable natural wonder that Steven Spielberg chose as a location for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.

While staying at Lighthouse Marina and RV Resort in Isleton, California, we enjoyed:

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Meeting my boss Hillary in person after working for her for over a year and a half

San Francisco Bay Ferry from the Port of Oakland to Pier 41 in San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf

Dungeness Crabs

Mumm Napa winery tour and tastings

Golden Gate Park, Conservatory and Golden Gate Bridge

Lombard Street – crooked street

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. A beautiful structure that goes through Treasure Island in the Bay

Drove to Fairfield, California to tour the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean factory

Mumm Napa winery for a tour and tastings

Stayed at Desert Palms RV Park in Bakersfield, CA

While staying at Riviera RV Park, in Las Vegas, NV we enjoyed:

 

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Strolling the Las Vegas Strip and seeing:

Bellagio, Mirage, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Ceasars Palace, Paris, Venetian, MGM Grand, Circus Circus, Binion Hotels

High Roller ferris type wheel

Hershey’s Chocolate World and an M&M Chocolate World

Fremont Street

Hoover Dam

I think you can see that September was our busiest month!

October 2015

ARIZONA

20151002_150531 (Medium) Grand Canyon – North and South Rims

Slept one night in Marble Canyon on the road between the rims

 

20151006_140834Arizona City, Arizona – Met Curtis Coleman, Founder and Owner of RVillage which I work for. We stayed at Curtis’ home playing grandparents to his doggie Augie while he was out of town.

Stayed overnight in Fort Willcox RV Park in Willcox, AZ (where we had a homemade apple pie waiting and free waffles and coffee for breakfast!!)

NEW MEXICO

While staying at Edgington RV Park in Alamogordo, NM, we enjoyed:

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Carlsbad Caverns

White Sands Monument

Cloudcroft, NM

McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch

Old Apple Barn

TEXAS

Bishop’s Landing RV Resort in Willis, TX – love this town. If I ever had to live permanently elsewhere I believe this little town would be near the top of my list!

November 2015

December 2015

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Chauvin’s RV Resort in Amite, LA – yes that’s us and that’s our home for the holidays!20151115_164252 - Copy

While home for the holidays we were extremely blessed to be allowed into the lives of Chip’s fiance Misty and her daughter Kallie. Chip proposed to Misty soon after we returned and we’ve been able to spend time getting to know them and learning to love them. Kallie is a super cool teenager with beauty inside and out!

useWe spent time with all of them over the holidays fishing, playing and visiting. Thanksgiving was spent with my sister’s family!

20151213_110846We got to enjoy so many of the Christmas activities at our church. Our new Pastor and Minister of Music are wonderful gifts from God. We attended Christmas Eve Candelight Worship Service there with Chip’s family and it was perfect! Being in God’s house with family is as good as it gets!

20151205_161404Our family visit to Celebration in the Oaks at City Park in New Orleans was a highlight of our time at home.

Gasoline and Diesel prices fell throughout the year.  This is what it is now in Louisiana!

 

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h20162016 will find the Chauvins headed to Tennessee for Roy to have full knee replacement surgery. Exploring various parts of the East going all the way up to Canada and all along the east coast is our travel plan for 2016 and 2017. Shorter trips than before, with a month or so at home in between, is the only change. As you can see above we saw so much this year it was way overwhelming. We’d like to not be overwhelmed and get to enjoy each stop more. We are still committed to living in our RV since we love it!

We hope to bring our granddaughters along with us on some of our summer travels.

My work with RVillage increased a lot this year so we are better financially rvillage_badge_300x200-findus1situated to continue seeing this beautiful country of ours!

That’s it! God Bless all of You and I hope your 2016 is as super dooper as we hope ours will be!

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Links to our Reflections on God’s blessings for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, and 2012 are below.
Happy New Year everyone from Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin! We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2016!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

 

12.21.15 Mr. Bingle in New Orleans

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Mr. Bingle as we saw him in Celebration in the Oaks.

Monday, December 21, 2015 – For those of us who grew up in New Orleans and are now in our 50s, 60s and 70s, Mr. Bingle was a large part of our New Orleans Christmas. This amazing little guy is making a comeback and today’s children are learning about him and he is entering their life this Christmas. When we visited Celebration in the Oaks an oversized version of this little guy was on display! That one is probably not as large as the version that hung from Maison Blanche (an upscale department store from that era). Here’s a bit about how Mr. Bingle came to be and some pictures from old times and present times.

The History of Mr. Bingle

Since 1948, a little white snow fairy named Mr. Bingle has been a magical part of the Holiday Season for children and adults in New Orleans and throughout the South.

Created by Mr. Emile Alline, a window decorator at the former Maison Blanche Department Store on Canal Street in New Orleans, Mr. Bingle came to life as a miniature snowman with an upside-down ice cream cone for a hat, holly-leaf wings on his back, a red ribbon and bells around his neck, red-striped mittens on his little hands, cherries for eyes and a licorice smile.

Mr. Alline also dreamed of presenting elaborate puppet shows with the doll, and for the task, he recruited Mr. Edwin H. “Oscar” Isentrout, an eccentric puppeteer who had been performing with his puppets at (of all places) a Bourbon Street burlesque club. With Isentrout providing movement and a squeaky voice for the character, legend has it that Mr. Bingle truly came to life, if only in the imaginations of the thousands of children who adored him.

Each year at Christmas time, Maison Blanche would erect a giant paper mache mannequin in front of the store, and Isentrout would perform four shows a day on the s tore’s third-floor stage. With the advent of television, Mr. Bingle began a daily 15- minute show that aired each weekday just before the evening news. He made frequent visits to Children’s Hospital to bring cheer to many sick or terminally ill children. For many, Mr. Bingle was their first TV friend, and he even had his own theme song:

Jingle jangle jingle,
Here comes Mr. Bingle,
With a message from Kris Kringle…

As the Maison Blanche chain spread, so, too, did Mr. Bingle’s popularity, at one time reaching as far as Tennessee and Florida. Mr. Bingle has even made an appearance at the White House as well as at the 1989 Citrus Bowl in Florida. Aside from the popular stuffed dolls, Mr. Bingle’s image could be found on everything from Christmas ornaments to coffee cups to clothing.

The Dillard’s Department Store chain bought Maison Blanche in 1998 and closed the Canal Street store shortly thereafter, but Mr. Bingle still lives on at the Dillard’s in Lakeside Shopping Center. Although his reach is limited to the Greater New Orleans area, he still makes the rounds to Dillard’s stores on the Westbank and across Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell and Covington.

Mr. Bingle’s creators, however, are no longer with us. Oscar Isentrout passed away in 1985 at the age of 61, and Emile Alline left us in 1998 at the age of 81. But these men, together, have left a gift that will endure forever in the hearts of all the children who have come to know Mr. Bingle.

 

The first photos below are from many years ago when only black and white photos were available. This is the Mr. Bingle era I remember as a child. The color photos are from later years and current years. Mr. Bingle made us smile and put joy in our hearts.

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THIS YEAR’S MR. BINGLE

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The Story of Mr. Bingle
by Emile Alline

When Santa left his shop one day
He found a snowman near his sleigh.
“You’ll be my helper now,” he said,
And tapped the little fellow’s head.

The snowman found that he could talk—
“Look, Santa, I can even walk!”
And then he gave a little sigh…
“Oh, how I wish that I could fly!”

So, Santa gave him holly wings,
Then, looking through his Christmas things,
Found ornaments the very size
To make a pair of shining eyes.

Then Santa said, “You need a hat;
An ice cream cone’s just right for that.
And keep this candy cane with you,
You’ll see what magic it can do!”

The snowman laughed and sang a jingle,
So Santa named him “Mr. Bingle.”
That’s how it happened. Now he’s here
With us at Maison Blanche all year.

Jesus I hope I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, introduce you to Mr. Bingle! He did add an amazing element to the wonderland of Christmas in New Orleans. He didn’t however ever take the place of Jesus’ birth in our hearts. I hope, as you and your family approach the day we celebrate his birth, that you will once again turn your focus to the true meaning of CHRISTmas!

We worshiped with our church family yesterday morning at Trinity Baptist Church and will do so once again on Christmas Eve. George Martin sang “Mary Did You Know” which spoke directly to my heart. Our Christmas Eve worship service is at 6:00 pm. The church’s address is 42062 Pumpkin Center Road, Hammond. About a mile off of I-12 on the Pumpkin Center/Baptist exit. Even though we are Baptist you actually go in the Pumpkin Center Road direction. If you and your family do not have anywhere to worship on Christmas Eve I invite you to worship with us! What a perfect way to focus on the true meaning! Family, friends, everyone is welcome!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly