Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gratitude SymbolA note for all those special people in my life....

Thank you to old friends for understanding when I was less than communicative. You will always be dear to me and I promise to try harder to stay in touch.

Thank you to new friends who have added much to my life. Some of you are local to me, some of you are far away, but you all mean something special to me.

Thank you to my family for letting me do what I need to without censure or scolding. I do love you all more than I think to tell you.

Thank you to my Rumble Sisters who are always there, whether I need them or not. You always understand.

Thank you to all the RVing friends who stood by and advised me when I thought that was going to be my new lifestyle. Your patience and generous sharing was greatly appreciated.

Thank you to the employers/business owners who decided to give me a chance at employment. Not only are my bills getting paid, but I'm feeling useful again.

Thank you to the weathermen for trying to keep me updated as to when it will be good to ride. Didn't do near as much as I would have liked, but what I did was great.

Thank you to my local McDonald's - staff and regular customers. You brighten my day with your smiles, good wishes and queries about my motorcycle and riding.

Thank you to my new hairdresser for REALLY understanding what I want AND need in a haircut!

And finally, thank you to everyone who had a presence in my life in 2006. It's been quite a year and I suspect 2007 will be even better.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

It was a two demon day.....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yesterday I described slaying one of my personal demons....but what I didn't say was that it was a two demon slaying day. Not ready to head home after my triumph, I continued riding. Headed from the neighboring town to the east, onward through my town and further west.

Bikes were everywhere....tourers, cruisers, sport bikes and scooters. The biker salutes passed in waves - everyone fully enjoying a day that was 20 degrees warmer than normal. I was on a natural high resulting from the act of riding combined with the knowledge that I had conquered one demon.

For the most part there isn't a lot of traffic so I choose my pace, usually about five over the speed limit. I'm one with the bike. The miles roll by rapidly and I soak up the countryside, smelling all those wonderful outdoor odors that you miss when traveling by car. Sun warms the wind chaffing my face and I try hard to not lick the last vestiges of ChapStick® off my lips.

Suddenly I see a group of bikes in the distance. Since I'm gaining on them, I know they are doing the speed limit or less. As I get closer I count nine car between us. The car eventually turns off and I nudge closer, but don't join the group. I notice the patch on the back of the last's the Southern Cruisers.

This is where the demon raises his I must explain. When I learned to ride, for the most part I rode with my husband, trusted friends and family or solo. During the first two years I did ride with some organized groups but they were typically event type rides, not social ones.

After my husband died, I spent the following year planning and then doing a 42 state ride (over several trips)....all solo. In the ensuing year, I have ridden in a group once...the inaugural ride of my Southern Cruisers chapter. I've been an Officer in my local H.O.G. chapter for two years and never ridden with them. My demon was group riding.....I could find any excuse in the world to NOT ride with others. No rational explanation....just the irrational fear.

Back to Sunday, this was my Southern Cruisers chapter, out for a chapter ride. I had seen the posting and received the email....both of which I ignored. But now I was face to face with the group and my demon. What to do....I could just tag along at the back, I could veer off and change my route or I could slay this demon as well.

I expected them to turn right onto the highway north...the light turned red and no flashing blinkers. A quick look behind me, no cars, I pulled out and quickly came up beside the leader. He looked over, recognized me and shouted a hearty HEY and JOIN US. The light changed and the first two bikes pulled out. I started forward, still not sure what I was going to do. I looked into my mirror and noticed the other bikes were lagging back. My decision was made unconsciously....I pulled to the right and joined the group. It felt right....

We stopped for gas and a smoke break and I chatted with old friends and met some new. From there we continued on for another 30 or so miles, stopping for lunch. I rode back, different positioning in the group, and eventually they turned north and I continued east....back home.

Yes, it was a two demon day....both slain, even if unintentionally.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Slaying the demon....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's just a road, an ordinary mountain country road. Beautiful scenery, guardrail-less twisties, steep drop-offs, but nothing that I hadn't ridden before. So why has this road become a demon in my mind?

I had only been east, past my house, once since moving here two years ago. One Sunday I asked my husband if he wanted to go for a drive, just to pass the time. He'd been having a tough time and I thought a drive in the sun, seeing some new scenery might help.

So, we headed east on the highway in front of our house. We stopped beside a small waterfall and watched the river for a while. We continued on, up and around the mountain, slowly winding our way to the top and then back down a bit, ending up in a neighboring town. All in all, it was a great afternoon and left me with a fond memory.

That said, for the last two years I have been unable to do what every other motorcyclist in this area has done....ride that wonderful, wandering, twisty road. Not because of the difficulty level but because of the difficult memories.

I tried to do it two months ago....thought if I rode it in the opposite direction that it would be easier. I'd approach from the eastern side and ride towards home. I headed out northerly, following route numbers that I knew would eventually get me to my starting point....but I missed it. I had a wonderul 100 mile ride, but no demon slain. I knew I wasn't ready.

I didn't start out today knowing I would slay one of my personal demons. I headed out about 9 am, the temperature was still in the upper 40's. Ate a leisurely breakfast, reading and chatting with the locals. When I finally got ready to leave I was surprised at how much it had warmed up. I switched to lighter gloves, snapped open the top of my jacket and headed to the gas station.

Initially my thought was to just head home, knowing how much there was there that I needed to do. As I approached my street I knew that I wasn't going to turn.....I was going to continue east. I was going to slay my demon.

The weather was perfect, upper 60's, and the sun was high in the sky. As I passed the farms with their ancient barns, new homes with their glossy exteriors, old homes that should be deserted - newspapers taped to the windows told a different story, and the never ending panorama of mountains, forests, water and pasture, I knew this was the right day.

I never found the spot where we pulled off....maybe I wasn't meant to. But I rode my demon into the ground, twisted its tail and tweaked its nose. It felt good!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

My house is missing.....

Friday, December 1, 2006

My house is missing....a nice warm fireplace. Don't get me wrong, I love my house. But I forgot how cold a great room with a cathedral ceiling could be. Tonight as I sit here in fleece socks, fleece pants, a turtleneck topped with a heavy sweatshirt, I truly wish I had a fireplace.

Winter isn't even here yet...of course we've barely had a fall. First we went from winter last year directly into summer. Now we seem to be going directly from summer into winter.

Yes, I know....turn up the thermostat. But it's not the same...I could sit and watch the flames for hours, sipping my favorite beverage, listening to the snap - crackle - pop of the wood (assuming it's not a gas fireplace - LOL!).

Recently I a friend suggested I get a fireplace DVD so I did a little research: Virtual Flames, Ambient Fire and Instant Fireplace were a few I found (just go to and enter DVD + fireplace). It's a start...but not a replacement. I want the heat, smell as well as the sights and sounds!

Till next time,
Froggi Donna
Queen of Fireplace Envy

The words get in the way.....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two years much time, so little time. If you've followed my blog, you know that a lot has happened in the last two years. Some good, some not so good. But in general, I am doing well. I am finding that I'm more fragmented than usual but wonder if that isn't just the time of year. We'll see if it continues. Not staying focused on things and getting them done - like websites, email, etc. (So if you email me, don't be surprised if you don't hear right back. Today I found some that were from Aug & Sept - LOL!)

I still miss Mike and know that a piece of my heart will always belong to him. I just have to believe he is watching and cheering me on as I struggle with being a "mature" single. Dating after 50 is a whole new ball game I've found...yes, there are some nice guys out there amongst the toads. I've been lucky to meet and date a few. What I have found out is that my independence seems to get in the way of taking the next step in a relationship. Guess it will be a really special guy if that ever happens again.

I'm still working full-time, learning a bit more about the real estate business each day. Other than that not much is new....I know I have sadly neglected this blog and I am going to try to be better about that.

I did get out a couple of weekends ago for lunch with a bunch of riding friends....had a great time. Winter is trying to close in but with my electric gear I should be able to continue riding even with temperatures in the 30's - but will opt for sunny days regardless.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and here's to HOPPY HOLIDAYS ahead!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Small Town Living: The Gathering Spot

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Every small town has one...the place where long-time residents gather to share their news, gossip about others' news, solve the world's problems and just generally stay updated. One of the spots in my small town is McDonald's. I discovered that in my BWD (before work days). After the death of my husband I started going out for a morning coffee, just to get out of the house. I'd take along a book and sit for an hour or two, reading and sipping my coffee.

This gave me time to watch the interaction between the locals and eventually get to know many of them. The farmers who have retired and discuss local haying that needs to be done. The young mothers with small children in tow, meeting grandparents....or just as often the grandparents with young children in tow, baby-sitting for the day. The high school age kids catching a quick breakfast on the way to school or, in the summer, grabbing a bite with friends. Local law enforcement, business owners, realtors, social workers, local politicians....visiting with friends, neighbors and co-workers.

The conversation flows around me, I catch it in snatches. Sometimes our eyes meet, we nod our heads and exchange a smile. On occasion that moves into our own conversation, sometimes a new friendship starts.

"Was that Mary's boy in the crash over by the bridge last night?" "No, it was Bill & Sara's boy." "The young one?" "No, the older one. You know...the one who's always in trouble".

"Did you see what they done to that house on the corner?" "You mean the Johnson's?" "No, the old Miller house." "I thought they tore that down..." "Nope, ya gotta go by there and see it."

"How's your mom doing?" "Better, she still misses Dad but her ladies church group is keeping her busy. Don't know what she'd do without them."

"Did you hear that old Joe died this weekend?" or "I heard Sylvie's getting worse, they don't know how long she has." or "Mary Jo's boy had a baby last week."

Over the last two years I have come to know many of these folks, not usually by name but by face. We exchange pleasantries, I get teased about reading so much, we smile and know that we are not alone in the world.

I've had to trade my leisurely morning coffee for a cup to go but still stop in for lunch from time to time as well as breakfast on weekends. The staff is still friendly and welcoming and the conversation continues to ebb and flow....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Time flies...and other trite comments

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yes it's true - time does fly when you're busy. I can't believe how quickly the summer has passed. The heat has been terrible this year, I seem to feel it worse as I get older. I see many motorcyclists out there on the weekends, just too hot for me to enjoy it.

I did ride to work on Friday. It was barely 70 when I left, perfect riding with the mesh jacket and shorty helmet. What a treat! It's a shame that I'm only 3 miles from work....and have to be there at 8am. I took it to lunch, another mile or so and then home (no side trips since it's hot right now). Felt good to get out and feel the wind in my face.

Today was a tough day....Mike would have been 65. I spent a lot of time in reflection...where I've been, where I'm going. So many wonderful memories to sustain me...I know how fortunate I am. Anyway, one of the things I considered was the sale of my house. It's been listed for five months now, due to expire the end of September. I have decided to take it off the market early. I hate living in limbo....boxes & totes everywhere, living on temporary's time to make the house back into a home.

Since the job arrived into my life so unexpectedly, I think I am meant to stay in the house. I've always loved it as did Mike. Sparta is such a great little town, I've really enjoyed my time here. I remember when I knew I had made the right move in coming here. It was a couple of weeks after Mike passed, I was on the phone with one of my daughters and the front door bell rang. It was in the middle of the week and dark outside. Having moved from the Tampa/St Pete area, my first thought was, "....did I lock the storm door?".

I realized that I was on the phone and my daughter would know if something happened, so I flipped on the outside light and opened the inside door. No one was there but as I looked out into the yard I saw about a dozen women standing out there....singing Christmas carols. Perfect.....

More this week about life in my small town.....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

A voice in the wilderness....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yes, I am still alive...just getting used to a full-time work schedule. I've survived the first two weeks and got a raise starting Monday. Big surprise but a nice one. Everyone in the office is great to work with and I find my mind is getting sharpened by being back in the workplace. Having to remember names, addresses, what properties are under contract, what's been sold....definitely giving the Post-it® Notes a workout. LOL!

I started out working 8:30-5:00 but now work 8:00-5:00 with a longer lunch. Still trying to figure out how to use up the longer lunch without eating out every day. Once it cools down I might start doing some walking during lunch.

I really want to ride the motorcycle to the office once in a while...just have to pick my days. I've been a bit blasé about riding lately and today it hit me again, the need to feel the wind in my face. We're back in the 90's again but looks like it might drop a bit next week. Keeping my fingers crossed!

This looks to be a busy weekend. Saturday my living room entertainment center, coffee table and end tables are being picked up. I happened to mention in the office today that I was going to have to find a cheap TV table by Saturday and one of the agents GAVE me one that they're not using. They'll deliver it sometime Saturday and help me get things set back up. WOW!

Sunday I hope to meet an on-line RVing friend I've made. He's a widower and lives/travels full-time in/with his Airstream trailer. He's a runner, non-TV watcher and a vegan. Oh, and a former BMW rider. We're both interested in seeing how well that meshes with a Harley-Davidson riding, TiVo addicted viewer and junk food junkie. Watch for updates.....

Trying to plan some weekend trips soon - Labor Day is almost here and that means I have three whole days off. Thinking about making a quick driving trip to visit my friends in PA but might do something on the bike instead. Still thinking.....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Little smiles....

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

I was watching a made for TV mini-series the other night....was being shown as a movie on AMC. The name was "Broken Trail" and it was set in 1897 in the states of Oregon and Wyoming. I'm not here to tout the movie, although I thought it was excellent and plan to get the DVD when it's released.

It was the mention of "coming through John Day" that caught my attention and brought a smile to my face. Before my motorcycle trips across the country in 2005, I would have no idea what they were referring to. But I had the good fortune to ride an especially historic route from east to west across Oregon, stopping in John Day and learning a little history about the area.

According to Wikipedia, "The city is named for the nearby John Day River, which had been named for a Virginian member of the 1811 Astor-Hunt party". My day started out in Ontario, OR and I took off to the north on I-84 to Baker City where I would pick up highway 26 and head west across the state. I was having some tire pressure issues and ended up stopping in Baker City to get the pressure checked. After a short but pleasant visit with the local Suzuki/Yamaha dealer, I was back on my way.

The route was beautiful....through scenic National Forests filled with aromatic cedar and other evergreen trees, past the remnants of historic log cabins all accompanied by ever-changing views. I had never thought much about Oregon other than maybe the coast and even that didn't have the draw of California and Washington. No one ever seems to talk much about the state, especially the residents.

Well, I found out why...they don't want to spoil the perfection with tourists or worse, new residents. I fell in love with the state...the beauty, the people, the history. If I could afford a little log cabin in those woods.....

So enjoy the photos and smile the next time you're watching a show and realize you have some special insight that others might not.
[Click any photo to see a larger view]

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Fun, silly and interesting....

Friday, August 4, 2006

Want to have some fun while you waste some time and maybe get some education, too? Then stop by this site started by a friend of mine - WOW, THAT'S..... You'll see sections for the Big, Cool and Tacky as well as unusual motorcycle sightings and interesting roadside eateries (especially those that are Big, Weird, Tacky or otherwise). Hope you enjoy it as much as I do and remember to check back weekly for updates and new submissions.

Quick update on the job, things are going well. I have a lot to learn and that will take time, but at least I remember the 'spiel' for answering the phone now...well, most of the time. Only hung up on one person so far, so that's pretty good. The day goes by quickly and is never the same. I'm learning the tasks but have yet to piece them together into the overall picture. I know that will had better. In two weeks the gal I'm assisting is going on vacation for 2 days and then will be in a class for 2 weeks. GULP!

Still having a heat wave here....I've become a motorcycle weather wimp. Just too hot to ride. I finally gave in and put the battery charger on the bike....just so if I find an hour when it's not too hot and I feel like grabbing a ride, at least the bike will start.

Well, it's past my bedtime so better quickly close...remember to check out Wendy's site above!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

As the Wheels episode

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Well, the Lily Pad is definitely stuck in the mud. Today I had a job interview...spent two hours there and walked out with a position...oh, and my first day is TOMORROW. I'm excited, nervous, happy and sad. I wrote to a friend that I had good news and bad news....and they are the same news. LOL!

The job is for a Century 21 office and is clerical. I'll be taking over for the broker's assistant who plans on getting her Realtors license. Everyone that I met was really nice and the atmosphere is casual but professional. Sure am glad I bought some nice business casual clothes last winter when I started looking for a job.

I do believe this was meant to happen...this job was only a "thought" in the broker's mind, it just happened to be mentioned in small talk conversation to a friend of mine while he was working with a Realtor in the office.

So, the full-time RVing is now officially on hold. The house is still for sale, a smaller one with less yard to care for would be better for me long term. I am thinking about picking up an older 20-25' Class C (or possibly B) - something used but not badly abused - something cheap. Then I will use it on weekends to get comfortable with RVing by myself, in preparation for the day I can finally move back into full-timing. And if that day never comes, I will still have been able to RV again.

So, the blog will change flavors....more chronicling of my daily life and thoughts and less on the RVing side, although that will continue to be included. I hope that everyone will still visit.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Nothing to say....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Seems folks think I have something to say, I've gotten several messages asking what's up....but unfortunately there have been no changes since I last posted. Well, at least no changes in the house selling area. Only one showing and nothing came of that. As I've said before, I refuse to fuss about it, can't change it anyway.

I have started sending out resumes again...maybe something will turn up. I know, what happens if I get a job and then the house sells. Well, at that point, if I like the job I will stay in the area and find something cheaper to buy...hopefully I will be able to buy a small used RV and get in some weekend trips for practice. Then, when I can better afford it I will take my stab at full-timing. Remember, everything happens for a reason. I'm just waiting to see what the reason is for the delay.

I've been watching TV in the evenings and started putting MONK on TiVo. I love the show and the quirky character. But as I watched the shows recently, I realized that I am somewhat obsessive as well as Monk. Not as bad, but still like things in their place, count letters in words in my mind, like symmetry in things (except when asymmetrical seems more symmetrical - okay, so you have to be me to understand that ). I even took the "Are you MONK-ISH" quiz - yup, it's official. I'm more MONK-ISH than most.

I do like quirky....some of my favorite TV shows and movies have involved quirky people and places: Northern Exposure, Soap, WKRP, Mash, Mystery AK and even The Prisoner series. I once lived in a place with quirky flavor.....if the winters weren't so harsh, I'd live there now. Always something of interest happening.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Chaos rules...or do I know what I am doing?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The second yard sale is over, the whole house is in chaos, I'm living out of totes, and I have no motivation. Hmmmmm, now do you understand the title? LOL!

I know this will pass, think I have been on overload trying to get everything done for the closing that would have been next Monday. So now that it's not going to happen, I've become a slacker. Maybe tomorrow will bring some energy....well, I did get two totes packed today, along with all my t-shirts sorted. Oh, and I labeled four totes....that should count for something, shouldn't it?

No hits on the house....with the market slowing down across the country, I may be in for a long dry spell. Maybe that is why I am not attacking my "to do" list the way I sub-conscious knows that the deadline is no longer imminent.

The next yard sale will be a buy one, get one free (same price) to clear out as much as possible before hauling it all off the Goodwill. I have sold a LOT of stuff but there is still quite a bit left in the garage and I keep coming across more things to put out there.

One day this week or next, I plan to head over to Knoxville to check out the Heartland Cyclone toy hauler and make a final decision if that is what I want. I love the extra storage as well as the ability to easily add a washer/dryer (even a stackable one). I do worry about a one ton truck being enough to pull it, maybe I worry too much. LOL!

Well, everything happens for a reason so I know this will all work out....somehow, sometime.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Early morning ramblings....

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

The sound of thunder woke me around 2 am....after 15 minutes or so of listening to it, I stumbled out of bed and unplugged the computer. [Note to self - backup files ASAP] Hit the bathroom and then tumbled back into bed, sure I would fall right back to sleep.

NOT! Seems as though yesterday's news about the house sale falling in was going to be a major impediment to falling back asleep. After laying there for an hour, wide awake, I got up. Thus you now find me at the keyboard...

I love the sound of thunder but especially when mixed with the sound of rain. When Mike and I owned our cabin in PA, we enjoyed hearing the rain on the tin roof over our pavilion. It soothed us both. Rainy days never depressed me, they always seemed to be call for curling up in a comfy chair with a good book and a soothing drink.

There are many simple pleasures that bring me joy....hearing a baby laugh, watching children play with puppies, seeing a pretty sunrise or sunset (although I have to admit to seeing many more sunsets than sunrises), hearing a passing motorcycle, feeling the sun warm me on a chilly day, sharing time with family and friends, seeing a bluebird or cardinal or hummingbird or even listening to doves cooing in the back yard. I love the smell of strawberries, cinnamon and vanilla....they all make me smile. Baking bread is feel good smell. Watching a "feel good" movie always helps my spirits - love to see the underdog come out on top.

Guess I'm a simple person with simple tastes that allow me to enjoy simple pleasures.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Life's twists and turns...

Monday, July 3, 2006

They say, and I believe, that everything happens for a reason. I hope that reason becomes apparent the buyer backed out of the sale of the house. The realtor and I both think that her kids talked her out of it....they wanted her in an apartment (less maintenance for them I suspect) and really didn't want her to buy a house. I think they wore her down.

So, the search for a new buyer starts.....wish me luck! The toughest part is the house isn't in shape to show well....most of the furniture is gone and there are a ton of boxes, totes and plastic bags scattered around. Guess I need to concentrate on getting them all into one room.

The biggest frustration to me is that I thought I had finally found the perfect rig - a Heartland Cyclone toy hauler. Dealer is close by, has great prices and a top reputation for service. We've been emailing for several days and were coming to terms on add-ons. All that was left was for me to physically visit and put down a deposit if I liked it.

So....I continue to roll along on the roller coaster of life.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Yard Sale Musings....

Monday, June 26, 2006

Well, it's done....the first yard sale is history. The weather last week was the 90s with high humidity. Since I had decided to hold the sale in the garage to allow for a "rain or shine" event, that meant a lot of time was spent sorting things out and making sure people could walk around to see everything. Friday morning wasn't even 7 am and I heard a car drive in. YIKES! The ad said 9 am and NO EARLY BIRDS. I hadn't even gotten in the shower yet. Fortunately my neighbor knew what was up and asked them to come back later. Phew!

Well, since I was now awake I figured I might as well get up. Grabbed a quick shower, ate a quick breakfast and grabbed a cup of coffee. My neighbor came over to get the signs so she could put them out while I put the finishing touches on the sale items.

At 8:30 I opened the garage door...had 2 guys there within minutes. By 9 am I was slammed....thank goodness for my neighbor and a good friend from Cookeville who helped me out. I couldn't have done it without them. For two hours we were non-stop, and then we stayed pretty steady until around 1 pm. By 2:30 the storms were moving in and I sent my help homeward. I had one lady coming back after 3 pm to pick up a few things so I cooled down in the house while I waited for her. The heat had been unbearable but could have been worse if not for two borrowed fans.

She came with her husband, bought a few more things and after they left I hit the shower. Now that felt good....I was exhausted but excited because I knew it had been a good day. As I sat watching a great show on that I had TiVo'd from The Travel Channel, RV Crazy, the doorbell rang. It was the girlfriend of my mailman's son (got that? ). She brought a girlfriend with her, who had been working, and they wanted to see if I would let them go through the yard sale stuff. Heck yeah! An hour and $50 later they left.

Did I mention that my mailman came by Thursday and bought about $85 worth of stuff and not 2 hours later his wife came by and bought my two bar stools as well as about half my Christmas toss in his son & girlfriend who bought my coffee/end table set, my old stereo and some other smaller stuff (plus what she picked up later Friday night). Gotta love mailmen....

Saturday was slower, probably due to everyone enjoying the cooler temperatures brought by the rain moving through the night before. The day started off slowly but by 10 am it picked up and stayed fairly steady till around 1 pm again. By 2:30 we started packing it in....and of course this is when my neighbors decided to make an appearance. They were only browsing and not seriously - more interested in chatting.

Got everything condensed in the garage, a bit jumbled which means I have more sorting to do before the next sale, but at least my motorcycle and my car are back inside. Later in the afternoon the mailman's son, girlfriend, her girlfriend and that girlfriend's boyfriend (got that? ) stopped by to pickup two swords I was holding for them. Before they left I had sold more furniture to them, as well as a promise of bringing someone who might be interested in my motorcycle knick-knacks. Great to have friends....

I settled down to relaz and did a tally for the two days. Not counting the furniture sold I netted over $1200. Not bad for a country yard sale....I hope the next one does that well! Less than two weeks and I have a lot to get done.

Till next time - keep on rollin', Froggi/Donna

Faster than a speeding bullet....

Monday, June 19, 2006

I thought I was making good progress towards the yard sale, really I did. Enough that I could take some time off today and visit with a good friend while her bike was being serviced. Enough that I could spend some time chatting in the forums and sending off emails this afternoon. I did spend about 2 hours bagging & tagging more things...

Then the phone range...late...9:30 pm. It was the buyer. She wanted to bring her other daughter out to see the house tomorrow. Okay, that's fine. Then she started hemming & hawing...we need to talk, she says. More hemming and hawing....oh no, I think. Does she want to back out? I've sold all my house is a garage is full of sale stuff.

Turns out that she is closing on her house July 15th but has until July 30th to vacate the premises. problem with that. I had intended to move out the last weekend of the month anyway, with the closing scheduled on the 31st. First problem is that her kids, who are moving her, will not be in town the weekend we were all going to move. Then she lets the bomb drop...she wants to close early.

Hmmm, not a huge problem except that I have a lot to get done in less time and really need to know when we'll close. More chatting and we are going to try to close both houses on the 15th and I'll rent the house back for a week. This is actually good news for gives me a week of having CASH IN HAND to buy my RV, pick it up and actually load my stuff directly into it!

She's going to contact our realtor (we're using the same one) tomorrow to see if we can pull this off. So things are moving faster than a speeding bullet around here!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Late at night....or is it early in the morning?

Friday, June 16, 2006

What am I doing up at one in the morning? Heck if I know....I was tired at 9:00 but didn't go to bed. So here I am now, on my second wind and wide awake. How much do you want to bet someone will call me before 9 do I know? Because it's already happened twice this week.

I never was a morning person...much prefer to stay up late and then sleep in. Now that I'm working most of the day on sorting out what stuff I will keep, what I will send to the kids, what I will sell and what goes in the trash, I find my evenings are spent searching for the perfect "wheel estate" for me. Well, here are some late night/early morning ramblings....

You know what that means...more indecision. This was the week of the diesel pusher....found several nice ones. Then I started reading about the expensive maintenance, the additional pre-sale inspections and I started to get nervous about it. So, do I now go back to looking at gas motorhomes and hope I can find one that will allow me to mount a lift on the back? Do I keep researching toy haulers and hope I can find a decent used one-ton truck? It truly seems there is no perfect solution so I will keep attempting to make the decision that is MOST right for me.

The good news is that I've made good progress on the yard sale sorting....the kitchen is 90% done, the shed is 95% done, the garage is 99% done and the attic is 100% done. Gee, that only leaves the living room, dining room, utility room, two bedrooms, 5 closets and one office. In addition, a lot of the furniture has been sold, at least the major pieces - still have small pieces (misc tables, chairs, etc.) with my bedroom set, the dining room hutch, living room entertainment center and the washer and dryer being the bigger pieces left to sell.

More and more local folks are hearing the news about my selling the house and hitting the road in an RV. Most are impressed, I just don't understand that. To me it's just living life....always keeping something to look forward to up ahead. I'm really getting excited and look forward to getting on the road. It's really hard deciding what I'll keep since I don't know the configuration of my new home. But worst case, I'll store it or sell it at the last minute.

If you've never been in any type of motorhome or travel trailer, you may not realize how little wall space there is for hanging pictures and photos (in addition to the problems of keeping them hanging). But I have a couple of special things that will get hung - one way or another.

The first is a sign I saw in a catalog and I just knew it was meant for me - I've uploaded a photo of it. The second is one I will treasure forever. It is a custom painting done for my by my neighbor, a beautiful landscape of the Tennessee mountains with her trademark unusual tree in the forefront. On the back she put a photo of her and her husband. Tennessee will always be a very special place for me.

I've been thinking about the little things - sitting out under the awning watching the birds and squirrels play while I read. Meeting new folks from all over the country. Visiting family and old friends as I travel. Taking things slower....slowing down....relaxing.....smelling the roses.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Women, Winter, Motorcycles & Bathrooms

Sunday, June 11, 2006

There is an email making the rounds that every woman can relate to....discussing in detail the horrors we, as women, have to deal with every day when using public restrooms. No toilet paper, wet seats, no liners, doors that don't lock and THE STANCE.

After reading it recently, I thought it was time to write about a lesser known side....dealing with public restrooms while riding a motorcycle in cold weather. This is written from fact...based upon my trips in the last couple of years.

Now imagine a cold winter day, your bladder has reacted in double-time to the one cup of coffee you just HAD to have at the last gas stop - used to warm your hands as well as your insides - and the vibration of the motorcycle combined with the cold.

You spy a gas station, pull in and immediately have to decide, pump gas first and move bike out of the way or is it slow enough that you can head to the bathroom first. Sometimes the decision is made for you, you KNOW that you can't take the time to get gas first.

So you head inside, praying that this isn't one of the 10% of places that still have outside bathrooms. Depending on how cold you are and how much function is left in your fingers, you may or may not take off your helmet.

Ah, you spot the sign! It's inside and available. If you took off your helmet you now have to find a place for it, preferably not the floor. If you're real lucky you get a handicapped stall with a Koala baby seat, pull it down and start stacking up the gear. Next best case is the Koala seat outside the stall where you can at least drop the helmet and maybe your jacket.

Now remember, it's COLD. This isn't just a matter of unzipping your jeans. Oh no, that would be too easy. First you have to unzip your jacket because it's 3/4 length. Of course this is only done after taking off gloves & glove liners. Then you have to unzip the polar fleece under that. Since it's really cold we now have to negotiate the textile riding pants (zipper number 3), zipper on jeans, and then a layer of either polar fleece or at a minimum tights. Finally down to the last layer - undies. Plus, with each layer peeled off, the stack of material above your knees goes now one last push to be sure you can clear the cloth.

Now you go into the stance, having done your best to follow the wipe/line it procedure outlined in the other post. At least you have your Kleenex if needed...well, you do if you didn't leave your jacket outside with your helmet. No purse to worry about at least.....ahhhhhh, there is no better feeling.

Done, you stand, remember that helmet you left on because you were in a hurry. Well you are quickly reminded when your bent stance slams it into the back of the door (unless, again, you were lucky enough to get an oversized handicapped stall). Hoping you haven't permanently damaged it so that you have no protection in a crash, you start pulling up all the layers and rezipping.

This is when you hope there is no line takes time and a lot of it to pull everything back together. When several women are riding together, we find ourselves stumbling out of the stall with layers pulled up but unzipped, finishing that process outside so the next lady can enter and start her own trip of joy.

So the next time you head into a bathroom stall, remember, it could be winter and you could be wearing riding gear!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

It's the little things that get you...

Friday, June 9, 2006

Yesterday I finally started to attack my "stuff". I decided to start in the kitchen...pulling out the things that will get sold, packed away, etc and keeping only what Iwill use in the RV. It's amazing how much emotional impact some things have....I bought a new Corelle dish set (it's running thru the dishwasher now) but I still love my old set. They are the clear ones with swirled flowers cut in that you often see at restaurants. They wear like iron, work in the microwave and are near unbreakable. Can you tell I love them...LOL! Since I have a set for 8, think I am going to pack half away at daughters so I can switch back someday if I want to.

Coffee mugs are hard....I have so many that have memories attached....sending some to my brother & his wife (they'll love me, they don't even drink coffee ). A few will get packed away, a few saved, the rest go into the yard sale where hopefully someone will love them.

I tend to get scattered. Got all the cabinets done (two left to go), hit the front of the frig (gazillion magnets), took a few things out of the laundry room (store a lot of stuff in the back) like candles which then sent me to the china cabinet drawer with more candles....LOL!

At least I'm doing one smart thing - I'm putting yard sale stuff in zip-lock bags (when it will fit) and I'm pricing everything. That way when I get ready to do the yard sale thing, everything will already be marked.

Today I hit a tote I pulled in from the garage, marked as Mike's office stuff. After easily tossing some old BICSI manuals of his yesterday, I wasn't ready for the emotional slam of dealing with these items. Just small things - BICSI conference tags, his address books, the photos from his office, his collection of office mugs, even just seeing his writing on things.

It's been over 19 months and things like this still catch me unawares and bring the tears...not just sad tears but happy ones for the memories they bring to mind. Mike always said we needed something to look forward to and we always managed to do just that. Well, I seem to be following in the same path.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

And you thought it was all settled....

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

It's been almost a week since I signed the contract on the house, hard to believe. Thanks to my back I didn't get anything done until today. Today I attacked my office....I think I will need another day this week and several more next week to finish the paperwork sorting, filing and shredding. Then I get to attack the office "stuff" and see what can be weeded out.

Do I keep the shredder or do I get a cheaper, more portable unit to save space? What printer do I keep? How many pens and notepads will I use in 10 years? Who really needs all these cables get the idea. Yup, another several days there.

Before the week is out, I will start taking photos of stuff to sell. I suddenly feel GOOD about clearing out things. I've started a box for each of the kids....there is always stuff they want . Clothes will be the hardest....what to bring with me, what to store and what to get rid of. Means a couple of days trying everything on. UGH!!

The kitchen I've already pretty well decided on what stays & what goes. The linen closet as well, but still have some decisions to make on blankets, bedspreads/quilts. Guess I won't need the dozen or so sleeping pillows anymore....LOL!

But the biggest decision is still up in the air - motorhome or toy hauler. Yup, I'm conflicted again. I like the security and simplicity of the motorhome but also like having my bike stored inside. More on this later....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

The great adventure is finally beginning!

Friday, June 2, 2006

OMG!!!! It happened....they showed the house at 11 am today and I signed the acceptance 1pm today. Closing is scheduled for the end of July - three closings in one day. First, the lady from NY selling her house to buy the house of lady #2 who is buying the house of the lady #3 who is buying mine - got it? ;-)

Now I really have to buckle down and start sorting through stuff. Someone posted in an RVing forum how she handled it and I thought it was a great idea. It's so easy to let it all overwhelm you. Her suggestion was, " I found it was easier for me to get four give away, one trash, one keep or to sell, one RV. Then go into one room and start in one corner...and work my way around it. Don't leave that room unless you have to eat or go to the bathroom! Stay focused on that room. Once you get that one done...dispose of the things in the boxes, put them in the motorhome, pack them into permanent boxes to keep stored or to sell...and put the give aways in a bigger box so you can start on another room, with empty boxes! You will get a whole lot done that way."

I'm excited - I'm thrilled - I'm terrified! LOL!! Oh, and I'm back to the decision on motorhome vs. toy hauler fifth wheel. I'll keep you posted!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

"And it's a great day to be alive"

Sunday, May 28, 2006

"And it's a great day to be alive, I know the sun's still shinin when I close my eyes..." A couple hours of great riding on this sunny day....and this Travis Tritt tune was constantly invading my mind. Yes, I sing to myself when I fact I kept track of a lot of the songs that popped into my mind while traveling the country. But I digress....

It's been several weeks since I got out riding and I was way overdue. At 9 am it was already 80 degrees and I knew the storms would be moving back in by afternoon. Time for a ride - time to stretch my senses and exercise the bikes pipes. Green as far as I can see....spring is moving into summer here. But the smells, they never fail to send my mind, fresh mown grass, cows and yes, even dead animal smells. All part of the experience.

It was hot but passing through the tree lined back roads, running alongside local rivers the temperature moderated. Today was the first time I wore my new Vega Nitro mesh jacket and I felt much more visible. Of course my pink shorty helmet and gloces with pink accents definitely let everyone know that I was a lady rider.

The clouds started moving in so I knew I had to head home but I got in close to 60 miles in just under two hours. Well, worth it and hopefully I'll get out again tomorrow.

Still no bites on the house....beginning to wonder if it is meant to sell. I ran into the guy who painted the house when we moved in. He told me he thought a friend of his was going to buy it, they bought further in the country - a bit smaller, a bit more expensive with no trees. Hmmmm....not sure what's up with that.

Last thought of the day...tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day. Many think of it as a day of play, the end to a long weekend. Boating, swimming, camping and the start of summer come to mind. But Memorial Day is much more than that. It's the day when we should all honor those who have given their all to protect our country and our freedom. It's the day when we should all honor those who continue to serve to this day. Please visit to learn more about uniting in remembrance on Memorial Day.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

A year ago......

Friday, May 26, 2006

For some reason it occurred to me that this time last year, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, was my first trip through Yellowstone National Park on my way to Red Lodge, MT for the weekend. Normally I didn't make reservations but due to being out West and a major holiday, one marking the start of summer vacations for many, I planned ahead and had a room reserved at the Days Inn in Red Lodge.

Looking back over my ride journal, I realized that I hadn't really planned to hit Yellowstone at this point.
"Headed out to pick up WY and end up in MT*. Original plan was to stay in Anaconda, MT but due to late arrival last night, now modified it to Butte. Scenery flattened out but picked up again north of Rexburg, ID. Ended up going in the western entrance to Yellowstone (missed my turn - AGAIN). So glad I did, unbelievable! Saw deer, elk (several times), bison, trumpeter swans, eagles, ducks, hot springs and views to die for. Kept stopping to take photos, figured I'd just stay in Livingston (which is what I did). *Note: Remember, I was trying to ride all 48 states in 2005.

The weather was perfect, the crowds non-existent, can't wait to go back (if only the weather will hold). Stayed in a beautiful Best Western, got the second to last available room. I even got to park the bike in their secure parking garage! Headed to Red Lodge tomorrow."

I do have one memory that I didn't put into my ride journal but I will never forget the experience. All during my ride through Yellowstone, I kept thinking how much my husband would have enjoyed it and how much I wished he were seeing it with me. It had only been six months since his death. When I stopped to get gas on the northern side of Yellowstone, there were no self-pay pumps so I had to go inside. While waiting to pay the lady behind me asked if I had dropped some change. I looked down and saw two bright pennies....I picked them up and knew that Michael had been with me all day. Why? It all goes back to a poem someone sent me after his death.

Pennies From HeavenI found a penny today
Just laying on the ground
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I've found

Found pennies come from heaven
That's what my Grandpa told me
He said Angels toss them down
Oh, how I loved that story

He said when an Angel misses you
They toss a penny down
Sometimes just to cheer you up
And take away your frown

So don't pass by that penny
When you're feeling blue
It may be a penny from heaven
That an angel has tossed to you.
~Author Unknown~

Till next time - keep on rollin',

RV Life on Wheels, Bowling Green KY - Final Day

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The time has flown and only two classes are left. The first one will be on RVs and weight safety, something I know is important but realize I need to know more. The class is sponsored by the RV Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF). Great information, knowledgeable presenters but the material was a bit on the dry side. But I did learn more and got some questions answered.

The final class I took was another given by Nick & Terri Russell, "The Frugal RVer". This one contained a lot of great information and several in the class offered additional suggestions. There are many ways to keep your expenses down when RVing.

Then it was on to the closing ceremony where we all gave thanks and then hoped we won something in the door prize drawings. Needless to say, my normal luck was running and I didn't win anything. But all in all, I WAS a winner, just from having attended. One last look around the bookstore, grabbed a sandwich and filled out my evaluation forms. Reluctantly I climbed into my car and headed back towards home.

Would I do it again? In a fact, I am considering the July class in Moscow, ID where there are 5 days of classes for only $50 more than the shorter conference. Greater selection of topics in addition to those I couldn't squeeze in this time around. I left Bowling Green feeling much more confident about my ability to tackle the RVing world - finding & buying the best rig, feeling safe & secure on the road, bringing in some income and even doing periodical maintenance to my RV. Toss in the fact that I got to meet wonderful people from all walks of life, ones that have the same love of RVing that I do and you have a real win-win scenario.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

RV Life on Wheels, Bowling Green KY - Day Two

Morning came early with classes starting at 8 am. Fortunately, for me, there was a McDonald's on the way to the campus (actually, there were three ). Coffee to keep me going....a real necessity.

The first session was a tough choice. I really wanted to do "How to Choose a Home Base" with Nick & Terri Russell but felt I was better served by attending, "Personal Safety for RVers" with Dave and Sandy Baleria. It was the right decision, what a great class and knowledgeable instructors. They presented a lot of tips and hints on keeping yourself as safe as possible. Their next session was on certification in the use of pepper spray but I hadn't planned on attending that.

Instead, I headed back to another class taught by Steve Savage, "Batteries & Charging Systems". I just hoped it was basic enough for a totally non-technical person. It was....and I finally understood the difference between a converter and an inverter, when I would want in inverter, when to use a generator and lots more. GREAT class!

After lunch came another really touch decision. Steve Savage had a class on solar power and Dave & Sandy Baleria had one on guns & RVers. These were both classes I wanted to take and neither one was offered a second time (some classes get offered more than once during a LoW conference). I opted for the "Guns & RVs" and wasn't disappointed. Remember that book I bought the first day? Highly recommeded in the class...and the bookstore was already out of the 2006 book. I was glad I had jumped on it the first day there.

Needless to say, this is a tough topic. I already have a FL CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) license and a handgun. I also have a shotgun. I also know that if my LIFE were threatened, I wouldn't hesitate....BUT neither are justifiably used to protect my property. These items were covered in the session and a lot more. [NOTE for anyone interested in a good article about guns & camping, please read this article by Derek Gore - Safety & Security: Guns & RVs.]

The last class of the day was one I had really looked forward to, "How to Inspect an RV Before Purchase" by Steve Savage. I wasn't disappointed. Packed with information, tons of hints & tips and a sense of finally having an idea what to watch for....I left there feeling like I could actually look over used rigs and make an informed decision as to whether the RV was worth my paying for a professional inspection. That information alone, made this conference worthwhile.

At the end of the day, everyone continued to mingle and meet. The bookstore saw more business as we all passed some time before being able to visit the "open rigs" (instructors, staff and attendees who posted signs to welcome visitors into their RVs). The rigs varied from a fifth wheel toy hauler (seen above) to top of the line diesel pushers to Class B or Class C motorhomes and even a converted bus. What an education and what a great time to meet more folks and get to better know that we'd already met.

I got to spend some additional time chatting with Nick & Terri Russell in their bus conversion as well as with Dave & Sandy Baleria in their fifth wheel. I also spent a lot of time with the owners of the toy hauler seen above. Turns out we knew each other on-line in the lady motorcycle rider forums and had even lived not too far apart at one time. Small world..... Oh, and yes, they have me thinking toy hauler again....their Sunny Brook was a brand I hadn't looked at yet.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

RV Life on Wheels, Bowling Green KY - Arrival and Day One

Monday, May 22, 2006

I know it's been a while since I blogged....too much life, too few hours. I don't forsee that changing for a while as I prepare for the full-time lifestyle. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny so I plan on using the day to start taking photos of things to sell on eBay....would much rather be riding but have to be practical. That said, wanted to post a bit about the RV Life on Wheels conference I attended on May 12th-15th.

I left the house Friday morning after a leisurely breakfast at McDonald's (I know, BIG surprise ). The weather turned out to be nice but with thunderstorms in the forecast by Saturday night (both in Bowling Green and at home), the car was definitely the way to go. By the time I hit Bowling Green I really wish I had been able to ride...absolutely perfect day for it and I passed a lot of motorcycles on the road.

I checked into my hotel and went off to find the college campus where the conference was being held. I got checked in, looked around a bit, bought my first book (
2006 Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the 50 States). Headed off to find a seat for the opening ceremonies...before it started a lady from the Escapees Discussion Forum caught my eye - she turned out to be the one heading up the Graduating Class of 2006 (SKP members moving into the full-time lifestyle in 2006). After the session I met another lady from the RV America Women's RV Forum.

Joanie and I chatted while we waited for the shuttle bus that would take us to Camping World for our reception. Had a fun evening meeting and chatting with folks from all over, some with rigs, some without (we're known as the Wannabe's). Headed back to the hotel and spent time analyzing the courses to see which ones I wanted to attend.

There was a great mix of courses ranging from one I had previously attended at an
Escapade (Fire Safety), to very technical sessions, to lifestyle discussions and more. For my first class on Saturday I opted to attend "Basic RV Maintenance - Not for Women Only" by Steve Savage, a Master Certified RV Technician based in Bristol TN and the founder of the Motorhome Review Online. This was a perfect course for me...helped me feel better about taking care of basic preventative maintenance (PM) on whatever rig I get. I know there are things I will never do, but now I know of many things that I can do and I know when to do them.

I followed that with an introduction on Satellite TV systems....unfortunately it covered many things I already knew, some I didn't care about, and little about areas that I needed to know more about. Fortunately the instructor, Mike Steffan, was more than willing to take on any questions and help me through to a better understanding.

After lunch, I headed to "Work Your Way Across the USA" given by Nick Russell. Nick is also and Escapee and we had chatted in that forum so I looked forward to meeting him and his wife, Terri. I already knew he had a great sense of humor - his 2 minute intro at the opening ceremony had everyone laughing. I learned a LOT in this session....there are a lot more ways to make money than just workamping as a campground host. Leaving the session I felt a lot better about my future least there are alternatives out there.

The last session of the day was supposed to be "Solo Travelers' Connections" but due to an family emergency, the instructor was unable to make Bowling Green. Unfortunately there wasn't much else that I really wanted to take so I sat in on Mike Steffan's "Computer Troubleshooting". Learned a bit, passed along a bit, just generally enjoyed.

The day over, I opted to skip the 7pm general presentation on RVing history and headed back to the hotel for the night.

Day two coming.....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

A Promising Weekend Ahead

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tomorrow I head out to Bowling Green, KY to attend the RV Life on Wheels educational conference. I have met several folks online who are also going, makes it nice to somewhat "know" people there. Most are couples but one is a solo lady who will be retiring early in a couple of months.

I've picked out the sessions I want to attend and a backup as well. Having done something similar, Escapees Escapade about 8 or so years ago, I know that sometimes you quickly know that a session isn't for you - maybe the content is more basic or too advanced, or maybe the speaker is going to put you to sleep.

The classes offered vary greatly - here are a few examples:
  • Fire Safety
  • Insurance Tips
  • The Frugal RVer
  • Satellite TV
  • RV Weight
  • Boondocking (dry camping with no hookups usually in the middle of nowhere)
  • Trailering - Hitch Systems - What to tow - What to to with
  • Guns & RVs
  • Choosing a Home Base (for those who give up their house - stick home)

Tomorrow is registration and orientation, the actual classes start at 8 am on Saturday and go until 4:30 pm. From 6-7:30 pm on Sunday we get to tour the RVs of attendees who have volunteered to open up their rigs for inspection. That is always the best, as I remember from camping, seeing how others do things. Where they store stuff. What unique little gadgets they use. What multi-use applications they have for everyday items.

I've already bought a few things for the eventual rig. A fairly large rechargeable indoor/outdoor lantern (with a dimmer switch), a cute little lantern (with a remote control), a folding dish drying rack, soccer cones to help me line up when backing up (and spot where the hookups are), some 1# diving weight that are orange vinyl-covered and will be used to hold down the corners of an awning mat.....can you tell I'm having fun?

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Waiting is good....really!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Waiting is a good thing, honest it is. I find that it is making me really evaluate what I need vs. what I want in my motorhome. I know that I can easily live in a 30' version but I also know that I would like to have the combo washer/dryer and there just isn't room in the smaller rigs. I have to better evaluate gas mileage, prices aren't going to go down much from here. Even though I don't plan to drive every day, it will add up. Plus I need to consider what to get in a toad.

The Jeep Wrangler seems to be quite a favorite due to the ease of towing. Seemed like a good way to go, easy to find a good used one for a decent price. But then I noticed the average gas mileage. Hmmm, if I want to take a trip in the Jeep I could be spending quite a bit more than if I got a new Chevrolet HHR or Cobalt. Even a used Saturn Vue would be better....

Coffeemakers are a hot topic, too, since they pull a lot of power when brewing. Can I forgo that? I don't think so...guess I need to evaluate those as well. Already downsized my crockpot and ordered a small (one person) electric frying pan. Wish I could find a small blender but that doesn't seem to be a big item. Blenders are cheap but they do take up a fair amount of room for something that doesn't get used a lot.

Back to the - convenient storage.....definitely keeping an eye on that. Basement storage is wonderful, especially for the heavy items, outdoor things and totes full of "stuff" that you don't need very often.

I picked up my new toolbox and am starting to build a list of the "must keep" tools. While I am not very mechanically inclined, I know it will be best to at least be equipped for emergencies. I also splurged (hey, it was only $20) and got one of the folding chairs with a built-in footstool and cupholders.

I've subscribed to Workamper News and received my first issue this week. Fascinating reading and a wide variety of jobs. I'm learning how to "redo" my resume, tailoring my past work experience for those skills valued in the workamper environment.

See, I'm not just sitting back, feet up, casually waiting for my house to sell. I really am using the time wisely....or trying to!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Grant me patience....NOW!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm normally a fairly patient person. I sit quietly in traffic, waiting my turn. I yield the right-of-way to merging traffic, subscribing to the "take one, give one" method. I stand in line, studying those around me in order to pass the time more quickly. Cool, calm and collected....most of the time.

But now that I have decided to sell the house, buy an RV and hit the road full-timing, I want to do it NOW! I want my house to sell so I can take the next major step, finding and buying my "Lily Pad".

I spend hours searching, browsing, reading all the various want ads. I've found the perfect rig at least a dozen times. I'm sure I'll find it a dozen or more before this is all through.... My Camping World catalog is already dog-earred. I've bought the "perfect" rechargeable lantern. I've bought my Corelle dish set. I'm evaluating all my kitchen appliances to decide what stays and what goes. I'm starting to sort things out to send to my kids. I'm putting things on eBay that I no longer need, things that will sell better on-line than in a rural yard sale.

I'm SO ready to make this move....I'm SO ready to have the final yard sale....I'm SO ready to start the next adventure in my life. So, Lord, please grant me patience....just do it right NOW!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

It's Officially Spring!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Spring is truly here....first it was listening to the Bobwhite's whistling cry, so very distinctive. Then it was the little male hummingbird hovering close to me, thinking that my bright shirt was a flower. Today it was the Killdeer mother, protecting her nest from me and Trixie during our walk.

I have never seen a Killdeer before so had to research them a bit.

These are truly amazing birds....actually considered a type of shore bird (which I had wondered about after seeing her close-up). They like to make their nests in gravel. This one had made hers just at the edge of the road that runs in front of our house. Fortunately for her, it's not a busy road.

If you look at the photo on the right, you will see her sitting on the ground, rapidly flapping her wing as though it were broken and she was stranded. If you ignore her she'll and don't move, she'll get louder in her squawking and come closer to draw you away. Once you start moving towards her, she'll move away from the nest, continuing the broken wing charade. Get too close - she flies away.

It's quite a sight to see and until the eggs hatch and the babies take off on their own, I suspect I will see much more of this activity. It's an awesome thing to behold....

Learn more about Killdeer

Till next time - keep on rollin',

"You may be right, I may be crazy."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Thanks to Billy Joel....I know it seems crazy that I can't make up my mind about what rig to finally get. The saga continues.....from motorhome to toy hauler to diesel pusher to toy hauler.....what will be next?

Today I visited another local dealer who carries the KZ line of Toy Haulers. I really liked them the quality was good and I could actually close the 10' ramp without much difficulty. That said, I do prefer the 12' ramp since the slope is not as steep. I spent several hours there....small family owned business, great people. The prices were definitely in my budget as well.

I spent about an hour by myself inside a 36' model, checking out everything I could. As I started REALLY looking around, I realized that while the living space was good, the storage space (drawers, cabinets, closets) was actually pretty slim. Yes, I could store stuff in the overhead bunk (keeping in mind that you want more weight down low) and yes, I could store more stuff in the garage/cargo area. But that would be stuff that I don't need to get into frequently (off-season clothes, old books, tax records, that kind of stuff).

I decided to take another look at carriers/lifts for a motorhome. This is a long-term decision for me...I can't afford to buy something and then not be comfortable in it. It also helped me realize that 36' would probably be the smallest toy hauler I would want to get. The definitely increases the length of my rig. I already knew that a 30' motorhome was just fine and if I had to add a toad, it still wouldn't equal the length of the fiver.

Since Allegro is my motorhome of choice (had thought about a Four Winds Hurricane but discovered the NCC just isn't high enough for me), I wanted to check out what frame they were using in the year range that I thought I could afford. Turns out that many are on the Workhorse chassis which gives me a lot of weight latitude.

I also found a great site for lifts, Cruiserlift RV Motorcycle Lift System and another solution from the same folks which is a tow dolly with a motorcycle carrier on the front, Tandem Tow Dolly. Although I know a tow dolly can be a pain to deal with, it would allow me to keep my Rav4 as well as carrying my motorcycle. Something to consider....

So, the pendulum sways back to the motorhome solution....but that also means I will most probably have to give up the washer/dryer (unless I happen to find one in my price range that already has them). Another plus for me is the automatic levelers, definitely easier than leveling a fifth wheel.

Other than the swinging pendulum, the day was great. While stormy earlier in the day, by afternoon it had cleared. Blue skies with temperatures in the mid 70's, perfect for sitting outside. The trees are filling out quickly, the sound of lawnmowers filled the air and a little male hummingbird thought my peach shirt was a flower. Brought a big smile to me.....definite signs of spring in full bloom.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

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