04.07.13 Computer sale – BUST!, Workamping change…………….

Well, the final garage sale did not go as planned. 😦  We sold very little actual computer related items. Several other items we dug up to sell but not the computer stuff.  A friend of ours bought a computer but no one else did.  Not one computer knowledgeable person came to the sale which was odd because we invited a lot including local computer repair companies.  The amount of parts that Roy had was tremendous and would have been a great buy for anyone doing that.   Oh well, guess Good Will will get a great donation.  Liz did great selling her stuff so at least there’s an upside to the day! And we got to play with Madisyn a lot while we were waiting for people to come and that certainly make any bad day into a good day!  At least, the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed resting in our rockers.

I got to show our house to someone yesterday.  She didn’t know how much the rent was when she stopped and asked to see it but she loved it.  Haven’t heard from her so the rent was probably too high but it was really nice to get to walk someone through our house and enjoy their reaction to the beauty of it.  One day someone else will get to live there!

We’ve determined that if we are willing to work 32-35 hours a week we can go ahead and start our adventure. We’ve updated our workamping resume to include Roy and all the great things he can do.  We are sending it to employers who are looking for someone to work more than the original 20 hours we thought we’d work.  Some employers pay you for the hours you work and give you a free RV site, so those are the ones we are targeting.   We would keep the house on the market until it does sell and then we can move down to a 20 hour a week position somewhere or one that just gives you a free site for under 20 hours worked.  That’s the real goal but since we need the money from the house sale we can’t get there quite yet!  We’ve seen some jobs in Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado and wouldn’t that be so cool to be in that area of the country during the hot summer months!   When it got up to 80 degrees recently we just knew it was getting close to time to be up north and possibly soon we will be!

We’re heading to Pass Christian next Friday for a weekend stay at Wolf River RV park.  Can’t wait!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Ephesians 4:4

04.03.13 Family Easter and Computer Sale!

Easter is over and Spring is here!  We shared a wonderful family day at our empty house the Saturday before Easter with our son Chip’s family and my sister Harriett’s family.  They are all genuinely kind and caring people and I cherish each time we’re able to get together.  We had plenty of food to go with our traditional meat – Popeye’s Chicken!

madisynandeggsMadisyn spent last Friday with me decorating (with the things my coworkers gave me so the house wouldn’t be totally empty and have a somewhat festive spirit about it!) decoratedeggsand cooking.  We had a wonderful time together.  One of the things we did was decorate eggs.  They were yard eggs that our friend Elizabeth gave us and were naturally green, blue, pink and light brown.  So no need to dip them to get them colored.  We put little pastel rhinestones and smiley face rhinestones on them and not only did we have a great time doing it but they came out precious!  A first for me to have pretty Easter eggs!

hunting eggsThe youngest  children, Madisyn, John and Sally enjoyed the Easter egg hunt.  My sister came up with the idea of having 12 eggs per child (six of one color and six of another color).  Each child was assigned two colors and were instructed to hunt huntingfor their colors.  It was a wonderful way to cut down on the everyone for themselves that egg hunts turn into.  They were helping each other by telling the person with a blue egg that they found one instead of scooping up the egg and keeping it.  Everyone got the same number of eggs and they were all happy!

twohorsesI included some pictures of the hunt and of our visit to our next door neighbor’s house where her white miniature horse had just given birth two days before to a little horse.  The children enjoyed seeing that and the other miniature ponies in the coral.  Someone said the other day that we live in the country.  I don’t see it that way at all since we’re close to the big city of Hammond.  However when I think about the fact that we live next to property with ducks, chickens, a donkey and horses I guess we are in the country!

This Saturday is the long awaited Computer sale. Probably no one’s been long awaiting it but us though!  Tables in the garage are all laid out with computer parts, cables, keyboards, mice, 10 computers with monitors and keyboards, desks, bookcase and a table with chairs for sale.  There are even around 150 tire stem valves. Perhaps everyone has this many but since I seriously doubt that.  It’s just another one of Roy’s purchases where he couldn’t resist getting an over abundance just in case they are needed.  I’m thinking that if we didn’t sell them we would be passing down tire stem valves to our great, great grandchildren and still would never run out.  A few household items and tools round out what’s for sale and I can’t wait for this last sale to be behind us!  Not that we’re going anywhere yet, but we could at the drop of a hat when all the selling is over.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!!

03.11.13 Wonderful food and saying goodbye to Roy’s computer toys…..

Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NL

Roy finished his work on the washer/dryer after recovering a hand full of change, a Saints earring and a necklace from the pump.  He’s totally familiar with the little washer/dryer that was a total mystery to him before.  I am now charged with searching all clothing before washing it to make sure nothing is left in them that could clog up the pump again.

My retired husband surprised me one day this week by vacuuming, taking out the trash, doing 3 loads of laundry, cooking dinner and several other wonderful things to chickenbrocollicome home from work to.  He cooked baked chicken and fresh broccoli and cauliflower with cheese.  He even served it to me!  What a nice thing to come home to after a long work day!

Another day he cooked real mashed potatoes to go with the roast and carrots that were cooking in the crock pot.  That’s an ongoing issue between us.  I make mashed potatoes from a box of potato buds and he’s always wanting real mashed potatoes so when it was his turn to cook he made the real ones.  One of the presents in his care package from his co workers when he left work was a bag of potatoes and a recipe from our boss, Donna, for real mashed potatoes.  He made good use of that and they were delicious!!  Here’s a picture of  that meal.  I promise I won’t post a picture of every meal we have but this was such a big deal I just had to!

We’ve begun the formidable task of going through all his computer accessories, programs, disks, parts and computers getting them ready for his computer sale.  Chip and his friend Stan helped us by moving the two desks and bookcase out to the garage this past week.  Yesterday at work I received a text message from Roy that said:  “I’m a hoarder.  I can’t do this by myself.  I need your help.”  I could just hear the desperation in his voice.  When I got home we spent Friday evening getting the garage ready with the tables, two desks and bookcase.  He placed 6 of the computers, monitors and keyboards in place.  Today we worked in the computer room for several hours dividing things into piles of things to keep, sell or trash.  The sale pile got priced and packed in storage bins to make out to the garage. Seeing him sitting in the middle of all his little toys with a dozen jump drives around his neck I had to take a picture of him.  He made comments like “This is a sad, sad day.” and I made comments like “You have more computer stuff than any 10 families should have.”

royincomputerroomHowever we look at it, we’re making progress and hopefully by tomorrow night the room will be mostly empty if not totally empty!!!  Hopefully we’ll have the computer sale the Saturday after Easter.  Here’s a picture of the garage with a few of the computers set up.  There are more to come! computers in garage

We’re having our family over to our empty house for Easter.  It will be totally different from any other holiday we’ve had but with everybody bringing their own chairs and a table and food, we’ll have fun just being together, hunting Easter eggs and playing games! My sister and her children’s families are very special to us and this might be our last holiday at our sticks  and bricks house with them.  Some parts of this taking off and traveling does make me sad and leaving our families is one of those.

I was especially thankful to our friend Rhonda who is buying our garden wagon but has allowed us to keep it until we’re finished with it.  We made very good use of it today hauling things out to the garage.  We stopped sifting through computer “stuff” long enough to cook dinner and eat and we’re going back up there to do some more.  Having a completely empty house is the goal and we can see the goal in sight!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

02.18.13 End of my garage sale era, Roy’s freaky finger, Dora’s bobo slide

GARAGE SALES FOR ME ARE NOW OVER!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah! No more pricing hundreds (felt like thousands) of things, putting signs out in the neighborhood, newspaper ads, Facebook notices, emails to everyone I know and working hours and hours and hours on garage sales!  A couple hundred folks came through on Saturday, buying the last of our earthly stuff!!!  I love visiting with the folks while selling our stuff and seeing nice people take home the little things that have meant something to me.  Other than the money it brought in, the visiting was the most rewarding to me.  My daughter in law Liz and granddaughter Madisyn helped me with this sale and sold some of their stuff too!  Madisyn was quite the little sales lady.  She’d take all the children over to her toy section and help them pick out the toy they wanted mommy or daddy to buy.  And of course the toy section was sold out by the end of the sale!

What’s left was displayed in front of the garage and notices sent out to come get it free.  Cars were in and out all evening until 11 pm (and someone was even there this morning when we woke up!) since I posted it on Facebook’s Tangipahoa Buy, Sell, Trade page!  That has been the best source for selling things I’ve found.  If you live in this area you can sign up on their page and check out all the things folks sell and if you ever want to sell something it’s just a click away!  The last of the things will be donated to a church garage sale today.  We now have a mostly empty garage and all of our stuff is completely out of the house. Won’t someone please buy our house!

Roy has several computers and lots of computer stuff still to sell but that’s his thing and while I know I’ll be helping him some, it won’t be my responsibility which makes me a happy girl!  His retirement date is coming up on the 28th of February and then he can dedicate his time to making that happen.  Once the computer stuff is gone we’ll really be finished with the shedding of our earthly possessions!

It’s taken so long to sell the house that I’m kind of hoping it’s because God’s just been waiting for us to be truly rid of all the “stuff” we own, before he sends us a house buyer!!!  Last weekend we had an open house and zero people came.  It was raining and Mardi Gras parades were rolling.  Next weekend we’ll try again and hopefully someone will come see our beautiful home!

Roy had a freak finger accident this week.  He was peeling a banana and went to flick off the little black tip into the trash can and disjointed his finger.  The ligament running on top came off and his finger was all contorted when I first saw it.  He went to the walk in clinic and then to an orthopedic doctor and was told it just has to heal on its own in a finger splint.  Being a man who makes his living fixing tiny things on computers, we didn’t know how he’d do it.  He has amazed us with being able to continue working without missing a step.  He’s of course enjoyed telling people that I hit him which broke it!  Little old sweet me wouldn’t hurt my honey like that!

Roy spent the afternoon Sunday under Dora working on the slide, wounded finger and all.  All that you could see of  Roy while he was working under Dora - just looked funny to me!The motor to move the passenger slide in and out broke two weeks ago and a part had to be located, received and installed.  I looked under Dora to see him and just found it so funny that he wasn’t laying on the ground working but was sitting up with his head not showing. I didn’t realize there were spaces under Dora where you could do that.  I took a picture of what I could see of him so you can see what I’m talking about.

Madisyn got a little concerned because she couldn’t see Paw Paw’s head so I

Madisyn looking for Paw Paw's head!

took a picture of her looking for him.  It’s  such a joy having her around.  She’s one little girl we’ll miss tremendously when we finally hit the road.  We’re setting up Skype on our computers to visit with her better when that happens.

As of today there have been visitors to my blog from Ireland, Lithuania, Canada, Philippines, Korea, El Salvador, Panama and the United Kingdom.  I’m not sure how they all came to find it, but it’s really neat to think that they did!  I also have 18 followers now who receive emails when I post a new blog.  If you are not one of them, and would like to be notified when a new blog is posted, please go to the main blog page and enter your email address in the “Follow us via email.”

I plan to write in my next blog about Work Camping which is called Workamping by some.  If you’re interested in what that’s about stay tuned!

02.06.13 Hospital Dora, stamp memories, sharing a blessing, Open House, china for sale!!!

I intended my blog to be solely about our adventures traveling but that seems to be on hold waiting for the sale of our home.  In the interim I’ve been sharing what’s going on and what we’re learning about living in an RV.  We still love living in our RV.   Or in Dora’s tummy, like our granddaughter announced one day.  We get in through her ear (the door) and make Dora happy by being in her tummy! We just wish we weren’t still living in our own driveway!!  I now don’t know why we ever thought we needed so much space in our sticks and bricks homes. People have asked what we do when we want alone time.   There are two doors and a small hallway between the living/dining area and the bedroom which provides us all the separation we might need.  I feel like I’m in my own cocoon in our bedroom when reading before bedtime.  It’s a wonderful feeling.   Neither of us feels like we’re in a confined space as you might think we would.

Roy and I have both been sick with congestion moving from head to chest to ears to throat for the last many days and are holed up today in the RV with the windows all covered so now Dora’s a little mini hospital trying to get her Explorers better.

I’m not a very good sit still sick person, so for the last hour or so I’ve been working on taking stamps out of an album of un-cancelled stamps my dad and I collected over the years.  Stamp collecting was a wonderful hobby we both loved.

A page from the un-cancelled stamp album from the 1970s
A page from the un-cancelled stamp album from the 1970s

2013-02-06_18-04-18_127 I have five albums we can’t take with us so I’ve been trying to sell them.  No progress until today when I got an email from a man who has asked for pictures of cancelled Great Britain stamps recently.  He wants to buy the album those are in and I’m delighted.   I brought them all to the estate consignment store this week to hopefully find someone through there who will give them a good home.  I’ve contacted several dealers and auction houses, etc. with no one interested in purchasing them.  Seems stamp collecting has not made it into this generation’s radar and anyone who use to collect them has all they want.  The un-cancelled stamps I am removing from that particular album will be used on Christmas cards, etc. in the future.  Might as well get some use out of them since they are still perfectly good usable stamps.     I have unused  stamps back from 1922 and every year until around 1980 when Daddy died so it will make for some interesting envelope decorations!  There are many beautiful stamps in this collection.  If anyone wants some for craft purposes let me know!  I’d be glad to share.

I’d like to begin sharing some things that are special to me and I hope touch each of you in some way.  The other day I stumbled across a blog, A Holy Experience,  written by Ann Voskamp, a Christian woman, farmer’s wife, mother of six  and it meant so much to me I’d like to share this link to her page with you.  Look around her pages and read previous blogs if it interests you.  Her writing is a wonderful inspiration to women and mothers and I feel lead to share this with those who might be reading my blog.  I can feel Christ speaking through her love and dedication to Him.  I don’t have the type of talent she has but I hope through my blog you’ll be blessed by hers. Be sure to start with her February 4th entry “God Made a Mother and You — So Farmer On!”    It has some similarities to the Super Bowl commercial called God made a Farmer.  Women have unique needs which her writing seems to speak directly to.  Can you tell this has taken hold of my interest!  I believe you will be blessed by it.

Our first Open House is this Sunday from 3-5.  If anyone would like to tour our humble abode and bring a friend who might be house hunting, please join our lovely agent Pat Tucker as she continues her efforts to sell our sticks house!  With football season over we’re hoping folks will be bored and will be driving around and buy our house!  One can only hope.   Our garage sale has been moved to the following Saturday, February 16th.   We have next Monday and Tuesday off work for Mardi Gras and moving the date gave us a couple of good days to get the last things out of our computer room down to the garage for sale.  Roy will have several computers, monitors, keyboards and many other computer items for sale.   How much more ready can we get to hit the road!  I still have a beautiful set of china for sale if anyone is interested.

01.27.13 Santa Paul, RV trash cans, 2 tsp of detergent, stinky foods, Sam’s visit…..

Roy's brother Santa Paul
Roy’s brother Santa Paul

Two months ago we purchased a medium size bottle of laundry detergent. Since we only use 2 teaspoons per load in our tiny Splendide washer/dryer I still have two week’s worth of detergent left. By comparison, in my previous life living in a sticks house with a regular washer/dryer, I purchased one of these size bottles every two weeks, if not more often.

Roy’s older Brother Paul came to see our RV for the first time. He looks so much like Santa with his long white beard (it was way longer than in the picture) and body shape that our granddaughter Madisyn is convinced he’s truly Santa. We had such a fun evening visiting with him and seeing Madisyn in awe the whole time. She thanked him for the bicycle he brought her last Christmas and gave him her next Christmas order! His wife Lois called Paul while he was visiting and his ring tone is a Christmas song. Madisyn’s eyes got huge when she heard that and then he told her “Oh, it’s Mrs. Claus calling”. She was in little girl heaven totally convinced that Santa was her Uncle Paul! We showed her his Facebook picture where he has his Santa costume on and she was totally sold!

We’ll have the most prepared house ever when we finally get to show it. Our son Chip has been helping a lot lately with those finishing touches. Removing all the outside porch globes and cleaning them out, painting the front riser part of the inside steps to the second floor, trimming back plants that died in a recent frost, etc. Our agent says we’ll have an Open House in February and we’re considering lowering the price again so hopefully things will move along then. Soon the grass will need cutting and of course we sold the lawnmower, weed eater, etc. All are gone, and the pretty little green blades of grass that I normally cheer about are not a welcome sight this year! Our sweet neighbor Jeannette offered to loan us her lawnmower, but we’re truly hoping to be long down the road before the lawn mower is needed too often!

We're living here in our driveway!
We’re living here in our driveway!

We’re still living in the driveway of our sticks home seeing more of our area than we did in the house.  We have windows everywhere you look in the RV and it’s lovely to see outside, even in our own yard!  Maybe one day we won’t live in a driveway!  Roy’s underneath the back in this picture doing something!  He’s promised me to write a couple of blogs soon about the work he’s done getting Boots, our toad, ready and all the incidental work he’s done since we purchased Dora.  I’m sure it will be him dictating and me typing if it ever does happen!

I’ve made some great progress on preparing for our final garage sale. I don’t think I’ve had three garage sales in my entire life yet after this one we’ll have had 3 sales in 6 months! Several tables are set up with goodies displayed and priced. Roy and Chip gathered all their old carpet/flooring installation tools and loaded them up in Roy’s truck bed. Roy use to work at Halpin’s Flooring in Baton Rouge and stays in contact with the owner Elizabeth, who is just the most delightful young woman. Now instead of installing flooring for her, he repairs all their computers. Elizabeth brings us fish, deer, fresh peaches and other goodies when Roy works on her computers. I love to hear that she’s coming with a computer cause we always know a goodie will accompany her! She said he could bring all his old tools to her and hopefully the flooring installers there now will want to buy a lot of his work goodies! This cleared a lot of space in the garage to set up sale items. It’s taken 5 months to clear out our house and garage and we’re not finished yet. Several pieces of furniture are still at the Estate Consignment Center in Hammond. They’ve sold some and there are still some there to be sold. February 9th is the garage sale date and if all goes well we should be close to cleaned out! Whoo hoooo!!

We have avoided cooking stinky things or pots of food that have to cook for a while to avoid smells accumulating inside our new home. This was something we were warned about on another RV owner’s web site.  Last weekend I decided to cook some fresh vegetables to serve with dinner during the week. I was not thinking about the smell when I chose cauliflower and turnips bottoms! They did smell while they cooked but after a little airing they left no lasting smell that I can tell. We (or at least I am) are trying a new healthier food approach. I want to be a trimmer version of myself when we are on the road and be able to climb hills and cycle around at will so I’m eating healthier and trying to be more active. No marathons for me yet, but a few more stretches and walking more is a start at least!

Our trip to Sam’s today was totally different than previous visits. We only go about 4-6 times a year and haven’t been since we moved into Dora. We’re use to getting whatever we can afford because storage was no problem. Our RV refrigerator/freezer is larger than most we’ve seen in motor homes but it’s not the same size as in a sticks house. Ours is now packed and at least half of the non cold stuff we purchased is headed to the storage bins beneath (I call it the basement). At least we have that space for our “overflow”.

Amazon Trash Can - paid 11 cents!
Amazon Trash Can – paid 11 cents!

One thing we have taken care of is our trash can. May not be a big deal in a regular home but in an RV it is. We tried a small one under the sink but that lasted about a week since  we had to empty it every day. We’re use to having a trash compactor that only needs to be emptied once a week so once a day was not going to work.  Then we purchased a tall plastic one with a lid. Well, it was white and when you walked into the RV the first thing your eyes locked onto was the white talk trash can. Not the look I’m trying to achieve! I shopped in all the stores around here and found nothing. Didn’t want white, didn’t want too small. I really wanted it to just disappear into the room. Finally on Amazon I found the right one. It doesn’t disappear into the room but at least it doesn’t shout, look I”m a trash can! When I checked out I found I had a large enough cash back balance on my Discover Card that the trash can only cost me 11 cents! We’ve received it and it’s in use and it is perfect! For owners looking for one, this is a picture of the one we got from Amazon.

I know this is a blog with very random thoughts, not many related. Yet that’s how our life is right now, all over the place so this is probably a good reflection of the current life of Dora, Roy and Rosalyn the Explorers!

01.19.13 Domicile state, mail fowarding, insurance, family pics, Dora/Boots signs, RV weight – whew!

Our trusty washer and dryer from our sticks house left home recently for the last time.  Now the laundry room and the pantry room are empty, cleaned up and ready for new owners!   We have buyers for my desktop computer so we know it’ll have a good home.  We’ve had zero interest in our wonderful home but we know the future buyer is out there somewhere and they just don’t know it yet!

We haven’t weighed Dora yet and I’m beginning to be afraid she may be as overweight as we are!  Having a diesel pusher eases that concern some, but we’ll see how it goes when she finally gets weighed.  After seeing how easy the diesel moves this huge motor house, and how easy it was to talk to each other in the front seats while the engine is running in the rear, I can see that the RV salesman who initially made these claims about a diesel pusher was very correct.  If he is right about the weight load being higher, he’ll be batting a thousand.

More household items have been priced. We’ve done so much that you’d think we were out of things to get rid of or sell but nooooooooo!  Several of these items were sold on Facebook’s Tangipahoa selling site, many more on eBay, and many others are now boxed up in the garage ready for the next garage sale.  2 big bags of trash from Roy’s computer room were sent to the landfill. Most of the “trash” was old outdated computer parts that wouldn’t be useful in any modern computer. Several other computer things were priced for sale and more toys culled and priced for sale.  Our next garage sale is planned for February 9th which should help clear out most of the remaining “stuff”.

I finally tackled going through all our family pictures.  Made up a huge box of picture for our sons to have if they want them and kept a shoebox filled with pictures to scan for keeping digitally.  40 years of marriage and 60 years of life have produced way too many pictures.  Some are priceless and bring tears to my eyes when I go through them all.  The ones I scan will be added to the box our oldest son whose name he asked us to remove and Chip will get.  This has a long and time-consuming process.  Even though the scanning is all that’s left, that in itself takes a long time.  It’s a necessary thing to do since we have such limited space and weight is a concern.

We went to work recently after being off for 2-1/2 weeks for our Christmas Break.  Over that break we got to spend time in our RV, learn some, have fun and really get to enjoy it.  We feel stronger than ever that this was a very wise decision.  For anyone considering this lifestyle change, it takes much research, learning, seeing lots of RVs, and reading other people’s experiences in order to be successful.  Each step we’ve taken was thought through, prayed about, discussed a lot and when a decision was made, we took that step.  Roy and I haven’t always agreed about each step, but after 40 years of marriage we’ve learned how to compromise and it certainly worked well with this process.  It really is more of a process you go through than step by step.

Two things we’re deciding on now is our domicile state and mail forwarding service.  The first has been researched extensively and we’ve narrowed it down to a few.  I created a spreadsheet with all the information gathered from various sources to aid in this decision. Your domicile state is the state you use for voting, motor vehicle registration, jury duty, health insurance, Dora and Boots insurance, inspection stickers, ease of handling some of these things through the mail, whether they require that you live in the state any length of time, and several other things. It may sound straight forward but there are so many things to take in to account that before we change anything we have to be sure the state choose is a good choice.  Everyone bases their decisions on their own personal needs.  It may seem like we could just choose to keep Louisiana as our domicile state, but Louisiana’s automobile insurance rates are the highest in the country so that ruled it out immediately.  If we can choose another state and take advantage of that one thing it is beneficial financially to do so.  We were both born and raised in Louisiana so it will always be our  home state even if it’s not our domicile state!

Once you’ve decided on the state you want to use based on your personal needs you choose a mail forwarding service.  They give you a physical street address to use for all these things since that’s a requirement on most of them.  They receive your mail at their address and at either predetermined times or when you ask for it send your mail to you.  They offer services such as filtering through the mail, sending your mail electronically, among other services that we’re just learning about.  Finding the one that has a good reputation, with the services you want at a price you want to pay will make the final selection complete.  We’re not there yet but we’re working on those two decisions now.

One concern I was recently able to lay to rest was our health insurance.  We have excellent coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana at work which I’ll be able to continue after we retire.  I’ve contacted their office and they said that we’ll be able to use our coverage with them throughout the USA.  I verified it through an online search of various cities, large and small, across the US and there are BCBS providers in network in all physician types everywhere I looked.

Another cool thing in the works is that Roy laid out a plan for two sign type things for Dora and Boots.  We’re looking for someone to make them now.  Dora’s will say Dora and the Explorers with a picture of Dora and will go on the back of the RV.  Boots sign will have his name and a picture of Boots on the back of the Dodge Dakota truck that is our toad.

I love seeing new followers sign up for our blog.  The comments have been both helpful and enjoyable.  Please keep them coming!  We now have 15 followers of our blog, so hopefully by the time we get to start our travels we’ll have more and if they see our Dora and Boots signs on the road, they’ll know We’re the Explorers!

12.25.12 Baby Jesus, Christmas, memories, cooking, and more selling!

Christmas Eve service at church tonight was exactly what it should be. A beautiful reverent reminder that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. He came from Heaven to earth as a tiny infant – a human. How amazing is that! God chose to come to earth in the form of his son Jesus as a human. Bro. Randy spoke on Sunday and tonight about looking past the cradle to the cross. That is what the total message is about. Jesus came as an infant, grew up in the same world we live in, remained sinless and gave his life on the cross to take on our sins and save those who choose to follow him for all eternity. I’m very simple in my beliefs and while it could be described much better by others what I described is the basic truth.

Southern Baptist aren’t very much into rituals but the Advent Wreath is one tradition I look forward to each year since it represents the story of Jesus’ birth. A candle in the Advent Wreath is lit every week leading up to Christmas. Each candle represents a part of the story so the children hear it a little at a time and learn from it. The final candle, the Jesus candle, was lit tonight with all the children surround our pastor as he spoke to them. These children will learn over time how blessed they are to have parents who love them enough to introduce them to Jesus Christ and bring them to church to increase their knowledge of him. Some of those children’s parents grew up in our church and I’m so happy to see that their children are now learning about the love of Jesus through their teachings and those of the church. Our children were brought up learning about God’s love and it was wonderful to see our granddaughter in the gathering of children around the advent wreath on Sunday morning when the second to last candle was lit in the group around the Advent Wreath. I pray that all parents will make their children’s faith the highest priority of teaching they can give them.

Today on Christmas Eve, 2012 the last of our house furniture was sold. The dining room table and chairs were sold yesterday and the matching buffet server went today. The table and chairs were the hardest pieces of furniture to let go of. We purchased it around 30 years ago when we lived in Metairie, Louisiana. Many, many memories were created around that table from dinner parties with friends, family dinners, regular family meals, children’s homework, dozens of puzzles and whatever else we used it for. It was a beautiful solid oak dining table and matching oak chairs with cloth covered padded seats. After our sons wore out the original seat covers they were replaced and held up well. I hope their new owners will take good care of it and have many years of enjoyment as we did. Selling our house furniture hasn’t been too bad until this. The house is looking even emptier now.

We’ve still got a lot of computer stuff upstairs but that’s going to be addressed really soon – even if it kills us (meaning Roy!)  Today Roy, Chip and I spent a lot of time cleaning up some tools and electronics to list on Ebay. Roy’s stilts used for installing sheet rock on ceilings were bid on minutes after posting it. I love it when people buy the odd things you’re afraid no one will want! There is truly a buyer for everything. I spent time in the garage putting garage sale stickers on five boxes of household things. The garage is starting to look better and more manageable. I posted pictures and descriptions of several things on our local Facebook buy, sell trade page. I doubt too much will be sold since tomorrow is Christmas but we can always repost after Christmas. Hope people didn’t spend all their money on Christmas! We bought our RV for our 40th anniversary, Christmas, birthdays Easter, and every holiday from now until forever!

We won’t have any presents to open tomorrow (Christmas morning) since we did that on Sunday morning before church when our granddaughter Madisyn was here. No furniture in the living room except for the small tree and a few presents but that was all we needed. Our oldest son and his family won’t be with us this year so Paw Paw, Grannie, Chip and Madisyn had a lot of fun on our own. After church we watched our Saints win another heartache giving game! Geaux Saints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Louisianians say “Geaux” instead of “Go” so when you see Geaux you know it’s one of us! Once we said goodbye to Madisyn we all crashed and started recovering from several days with our active 3 year old granddaughter! Now that she’s gone and we’ve experienced having her with us in the RV we know better what we’ll need to take with us for when she comes to visit. I can envision a new Princess/Dora container designated for her in the RV basement.

Cooking for Christmas so far has been interesting. The sticks house kitchen is pretty bare but does still have cooking appliances. After making a couple of trips to the RV to get things Chip and I needed we decided to make due with whatever was in the house. We had a spoon, a fork and one 16 oz. plastic cup. We used one of the cups to mix ingredients in, melted butter in the wrapping and several other makeshift things so that we didn’t have to keep running back to the RV for the real tools! I’ve sold the turkey cooking pan with lid so we’ll be cooking the turkey tomorrow in a short gumbo pot. I’m sure it will taste fine but this is quite an unusual cooking experience. There is no refrigerator left in the house so some stuff is in the RV and some in the sticks house waiting for morning to finish up the cooking.

I’m becoming more convinced that once we sell the house, retire and take to the road that the experience we’re hoping for will come to fruition. Right now, living in our sticks house driveway with most of our life in the RV and a little still in the house is complicated. Having to keep work clothes available when what we’d really like is all play clothes is a challenge in itself. I do still have my washer and dryer since it hasn’t been picked up so I’m taking advantage of that whenever I can. I definitely like having the RV washer/dryer and it works fine for during the week but on weekends when there’s a lot of extras I still go in the house. I can tell that the RV washer/dryer will be sufficient for when we’re on the road and am happy we have it, as opposed to going to a laundromat on the road. When our son Chip comes home to visit he stays in the sticks house so there’s a lot of going back and forth. So many things are just unusual when living in your driveway! Chip and I were talking today about going through the various seasons in our lives. I guess we’re in the limbo season right now!

Please someone buy our sticks house!!!!!