Sunday, September 30, 2012

Daily happenings...

I enjoy reading blogs where they are a diary of sorts of the simple happenings/routines in a day... so thought I'd share about our day today...

Sundays are a fun day in the campgrounds as this is when all the weekenders pack up to leave. David and I are giddily happy that that is not us!

This morning we woke up while it was still dark. He was the one who braved the cold and got up and turned on the heat and the coffee maker. I stayed in bed until the coffee was ready and the camper had warmed up a bit. We both made our way to our morning spots with our coffee, me with my quiet time materials and him with his laptop. After about an hour I moved to my laptop on the dinette table and caught up with my online peeps.

Breakfast this morning was bacon, egg and cheese tacos. I also made some extra bacon for a dip for football this afternoon. D cleaned up the kitchen and we both got dressed. I tidied up a bit around the house then joined him outside for a walk around the campground. There were quite a few tenters over the weekend and they are all gone (by 10am). As we walked we enjoyed watching everyone else do their "get ready to move on" duties.

I was going to get my sewing machine out today and work on the rest of the cushion covers for our dinette... but changed my mind as we have 2 rainy days ahead that would be good spent at the sewing machine inside. I will enjoy the bit of sunshine we have today as it has been severely lacking lately!

I also did a little Fall baking today. This is in the oven right now. My little RV oven is persnickety. Sometimes it likes to burn the bottoms of things... so I keep rotating it in the oven so hopefully it bakes a little more even. And because the baking part of the oven is actually only 1/3 of its actual size, if the bread rises to high it hits the top of the oven! BUT if I lower the shelf, things really burn on the bottom as that is too close to the burner. So every time I bake something it is an experiment! But I'm not complaining. Teresa at A Life Made Simple shares my love of baking and she will NOT have an oven to bake in while they are traveling! So I am very grateful for my persnickety oven! Ah... it's beginning to smell Fall-ish in here! Just checked it and now I'm seeing I'm going to have to clean the top of the oven... Yep... it rose too high! =( I moved the rack down to the lower setting and just rotated the pan more often to keep it from hitting the top. I washed all the dishes I used for mixing up the bread.

Campers continue to leave... although there are still more than I expected still set up! D's been working outside reorganizing the basement and cleaning the grill.

We had a late lunch of leftovers... choice of lasagna, beefy jalapeno cornbread, rice and ground beef or homemade mac and cheese... We don't have much room in our little fridge for too many leftovers. What works for us is to make a "fresh" supper two days in a row, then on the third day eat leftovers from those meals. As you can see from our variety, we've had more than enough leftovers!

After lunch, I made the "frosting" for the pumpkin bread and frosted it; then cleaned up lunch and frosting dishes. In such a small space, dishes must be done often! D drove over to Sheetz to get some diesel for our travels tomorrow.  We did try out the pumpkin bread! A perfect slice of Autumn!

Then we sat outside and chatted for a bit to soak up what little sunshine was left in the day before another storm comes through.  When the sun disappeared we came back inside. D watched football and I did some knitting. Right now I'm watching the leaves dance across the campground as the storm blows in.
I made an "appetizer" supper of Jalapeno Popper Dip and crackers... David is watching the Broncos on his laptop and I'm online of course...

Later tonite we will watch Amazing Race together... and that is pretty much our day today!
We encounter God in
the ordinariness of life, not in
the search for spiritual highs
and extraordinary, mystical
experiences, but in our
simple presence in life.

Brennan Manning

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favorite Finds...


This sounds so seasonal and good!

New question to ask...

This photo and this one invite me in...

Looking for one of these to run!

This is on my to-do list... I found a doily to make it with while we were in Lewisburg!

Favorite pins...

Autumn in Central Park... hmmm. wonder if it will look like this in a week!

Pumpkin bread with pumpkin buttercream... Definitely making this!

I want to do something like this in our home.

An upcycle project wanna-do...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday 13...

Things about me...

  1. When I pull eggs out of the carton I do it in a pattern... so that it stays as "balanced" as it can be.
  2. The anticipation of something I need to do that is outside my norm overwhelms me way more than actually doing it.
  3. My favorite season is Autumn, but not a cold Autumn.
  4. I enjoy organizing... pantries, closets, books, just about anything.
  5. I enjoy cooking because I enjoy eating what I make!
  6. My favorite place in the whole wide world to eat is Torchy's Tacos.
  7. I am really enjoying relating to my kids as adults. We do have fun when we are together!
  8. I went to college for 3+ years and did not get a degree. And have not needed it!
  9. I use coconut oil as my moisturizer on my face and my body.
  10. My favorite comfort food is sweet rice that my Grandma H used to make me.
  11. I am slowly learning to let go of my expectations so that I can just experience what is...
  12. I cannot stand arrogance in any form.
  13. I love adventure but it scares me too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where we are

At the beginning of 2011, I made this list out as my goal has been to move into a healthier, more simple, natural and responsible lifestyle. Blessedly I kept the list and thought I'd go thru it again... This is the original list with notes in red as to where we are now!

...real milk/half and half in my coffee in place of fake creamer (Thank you Mexico!)
...agave in place of sugar (not sure if this is actually healthier or not but I like it) soap in place of liquid soap from the store (soon to be my own homemade soap!) I now use homemade bar soap exclusively. David does buy and use a combo shampoo/body wash as this is easier to carry to the campground showers (where he prefers to shower as they are larger in size - he's a big guy!). And I make my own soap now too!

...real food in place of convenience boxed food (Hamburger Helper type stuff; boxed macaroni; boxed potatoes)We still don't eat a lot of convenience food, but have been eating more "junk food" on this journey.
...homemade deodorant in place of store-bought (post coming soon on this!)
...homemade cleaning supplies in place of store-bought
...fresh or frozen veggies in place of canned (still use canned tomatoes and mushrooms)
...fresh local milk in place of store-bought We buy regular store-bought milk due to lack of a place consistently to get fresh local milk.
...eating more veggies and fruit vs. junk food We have been on a junk food kick since being on the road... kinda a "vacation-mode"! I think we are slowly realizing this is life, not a vacation!
...most of my clothing comes from thrift stores
...natural gray in place of coloring chemicals every 6 weeks I gave in and started coloring my hair again back in November 2011... but now wishing I hadn't! I don't like the upkeep of it!
...cloth napkins in place of paper We tried using paper napkins/paper towels on the road but I do not like the expense of them... So we are going back to cloth napkins!
...doing more of my grocery shopping at the farmer's market in place of the grocery store I would love to do more of this but D is not as huge a fan as I am. And with one vehicle that I've only driven a couple of times, I don't feel the freedom to take off on my own. It's still my goal to shop more farmer's markets though.
...drinking more water (I've quit buying soda in the 12-pack; when we are "craving" one, we'll get one at the store down the road; it was just too readily available for me) We are back to buying 12-packs of mostly Coke Zero... I go thru periods of drinking/craving soda; then other times where I can take 'em or leave 'em.
...washing dishes by hand in place of using the dishwasher (I don't know that this is healthier but I love the "old school" washing dishes) Lol, my ONLY choice now is to wash by hand; I AM the dishwasher!

...eating more meatless meals
...laundry in cold water (most of it) and hanging clothes on the line to dry (most of the time) Still washing laundry in cold water but using dryers now as most campgrounds don't allow you to hang clotheslines from the trees. If they do allow it, we haven't had any good trees to hang a significant amount of line to line dry. And I'm missing that!
...limit driving trips; it does help that we bought a good-gas-mileage car in place of the truck I really wanted! Another LOL! We have one vehicle and have slowed down our travel immensely. And we do still limit driving trips! out of debt and have stayed out (by God's grace alone!)
...reusing, recycling and repurposing things I already have (fabric, yarn, food) fresh eggs! Dearly missing these and the hens that used to bless us with them!

Things I've tried and not succeeded or quit doing. All of these I want to try again

...baking soda "shampoo" with apple cider vinegar rinse -Tried this again several times on the road... my hair feels worse when I use this than when it's just dirty! scraps to compost pile (I haven't done this in a while; just got lazy, but am pulling out the scraps bucket today!) No compost pile in the rig.
...I've been using storebought laundry soap... just got lazy about making it On hold till we have a sticks and bricks again.

Things I'd like to incorporate...

...Using more "rags" instead of paper towels (not sure if I can totally give up paper towels, but I'm going to try) I am using paper towels more on the road than I did in a s&b... mainly to wipe down dishes before washing them to limit what goes into our tanks.
...making my own salsa, refried beans and bread Due to space limits, these probably won't be homemade until in a normal size kitchen! I know there are some who do it in an RV, so it is possible!
...less tv watching; more crafting, reading, creating The TV is usually only on in the evenings... we watch our favorite shows then it's off... except for lulling D to sleep! 
 ...better efforts with my garden  No garden right now!

Things we've done on our road adventure...

...Live smaller (moving from a 1700 sf home into 240 sf home) 

...And what goes along with living smaller is less stuff, less consumerism, less materialism
...More mindful of water waste (having to limit our water usage for different reasons) 
...Spend more time outdoors (easy with 240 square feet indoors, a spacious "yard" and trying to seek our "perfect" weather...) 
...Gratitude for what we have and where we are

Monday, September 24, 2012

I did it!

Running... isn't really my thang. I love the challenge of it... the accomplishment I feel afterwards. It definitely has its advantages...
Today we set out to run 2.5 miles... I figured out a route in Geodistance here around the park. We ran here on Friday with the GPS/Runkeeper so I had an idea of how far it would be. But the mapping seemed off to me on Geodistance. So we took off and were going to follow the route I had mapped out to see if it matched up with Runkeeper.

At 2.5 miles on Runkeeper, it was still quite a distance to where I *should* have stopped according to Geodistance so we kept on running till we reached that point. If I haven't confused you enough yet, my Runkeeper app said we had run a little over 3.1 miles. So when we got back home I asked D to ride his bike with the odometer to see which one was right.

I made our smoothies and when he got back he had clocked 3.34 miles according to his odometer... So we both got on Geodistance again and realized our mistake. We stopped short of where we were actually running on the road. So we had run 3.1 miles or a 5-K! And I actually felt okay when we got done! I have yet to feel this "runner's high" that people talk about!

So the plan now is to keep running it to increase my speed. I walk almost as fast as I jog. And now we need to find a 5k race to do! I want to do one a month if possible for my 52 things!


The first official week of Autumn...

Current location:: Lewisburg, PA home of my dear friend, Kristen

Current drink:: Haven't had one yet, but since it's the first week of Autumn I must do my best to get one! Pumpkin Spice Latte with one pump of white chocolate!

Current food (addiction):: Pumpkin roll! We had this at Kristen's house for dessert one evening and it is SO GOOD!

Current wishlist:: Texas! Pumpkin Spice Latte, Coconut Peanut Butter, Fall mix of candy corn and peanuts

Current triumph:: running 2.5 miles!

Current blessing:: Being able to meet some longtime online friends!

Current "outfit":: PPP bloomers and t-shirts! It's been chilly lately and I love wearing my comfy PPP bloomers!

Current creative endeavor:: cushion covers for our dinette bench, a ribbon mobile/wall hanging, a gift

Current excitement:: Being able to "reveal" our redecorated home!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I'm missing...

While my gypsy soul is in heaven... there are a few things this Texas girl is missing: (besides my entire family and friends)

More working space in the kitchen

An oven that bakes/cooks consistently... some days I bake something and it comes out perfect... then I bake something a few days later and the bottom is burned. Although it keeps getting better and better

Hanging my clothes out on a clothesline

Fresh eggs from our chickens

Regular size closets... even my shirts don't hang and get wrinkled on the bottom

A bed I can walk around

Ha, a bed we can both sleep in.

Lately, cable TV although at this moment we are in a park that has cable.

Fall in Texas; Longhorn orange everywhere

Austin coming over to watch football

All of us going to my parents to watch football (well, my mom and I would usually watch something else in her bedroom!)

Real grocery stores! These local grocers are cute and I still enjoy shopping at them for some things, but LOVE my HEB for everything else... And the option of Sprouts and Whole Foods!

Good Mexican food! On a consistent basis! (like weekly)

Migas (made by someone besides me)

Torchy's Tacos!
Yea... I pretty much miss TEXAS!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I am

...reading The Gutter: Where Life is Meant to be Lived (very eye- and heart-opening) and A Watershed Year.

...watching Big Brother... Yes, my guilty pleasure... Looking forward to Survivor and Amazing Race!

...listening at the moment to Rachael Ray on TV... music-wise, CMT! We have cable here at this campground!

...eating my new favorite "healthy" dessert: a piece or two of dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter! Not quite Snickers ice cream bars, but just as good!

...feeling very content in our gypsy lifestyle. I am still enjoying living in a small space, being outdoors more, seeing places I've never seen before!

...seeing Fall arrive in the Northeast!

...drinking and enjoying half and half in my coffee... I describe it as drinking velvety smooth coffee!

...wearing my fun green bloomers and yellow t-shirt

...wanting a Salted Caramel Mocha (half pumps) or a pumpkin spice latte with a pump of white chocolate added!

...thinking about how to creatively cover a sleeper sofa

...enjoying the coziness inside our home while it's cool and rainy outside.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Utilitarian or beautiful?

My tastes have changed in the last 5 years or so... I'm more drawn to messy, mismatched rooms in homes than I am neat, orderly and sparse. Hubs and I have a fun "argument" over matchy-matchy stuff and "way out there" with nothing matching. I can appreciate beautiful homes and furniture that compliments a room, but I'm finding very simple utilitarian rooms beautiful! Like a kitchen with open shelving... or art supplies left out to be picked up on a moment's notice.

Since noticing this about myself, I was wondering if I had just gotten lazy (about decorating our home) or if it was truly my "taste" that was changing. Then I read this...

This paragraph stood out to me:
Not wanting can be a pleasure unto itself. After years and decades of constant want, desire, even lust and greed, the freedom from it is exhilarating. Even if you only get to feel a glimpse of it every once in a while, it feels so good that you want to always feel like that. You want to grow in contentment. You recognize true freedom when you feel it!

Now, yes, we are redecorating our home right now... but you know what? We've lived in it for 5 months and have slowly figured out what we want it to look and feel like, what works for us. Not what's "in" or "hot" right now. Nothing fancy. It's not so neat, but everything does have a place (a must in small spaces). One of the best compliments I had on my last home, and blessedly I heard it over and over again, that our home is comfortable and warm and a place that person wanted to be. That's the kind of decorating I want to do.
We aren't quite ready to "reveal" our new home to you just yet...We are hopefully finishing up painting tomorrow and recovering the last two valances. Then it's time to tackle the

lovely "designer" factory upholstery! This could get interesting!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Finds

I made these that I had pinned from Pinterest... YUM!

I don't have a 9x13 pan as the one I had/have packed up has "handles" on the ends which causes it not to fit in my little RV oven. So I split up the batter into an 8x8 pan and a pie pan and baked them separately.

Another new-to-me blog led me to some crockpot meal ideas!

Good reminder...

I enjoy reading about the "living" experiences of other full-time RV'ers.

...when we lose focus on the limits of our time, we let it slip away day by day… year by year.

I still want to try making pizza on the grill!

Now that we have the walls painted and the window valances recovered... time to tackle my next project!

Recently pinned...

Fall recipe #1

Fall Recipe #2

Can I make this for our couch?
Great space saving idea!
How to best tie your running shoes...

Eating well on a budget ideas

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday 13...

  1.  I'm loving the color splashes in our home!
  2. I do not love running, but I like what it accomplishes.
  3. I'm finally getting the hang of baking in my little oven and not burning things.
  4. I'm missing exploring a town by bicycle and/or walking.
  5. I am looking forward to meeting more "home girls" (new nickname given us by Miss Kristen).
  6. I am wanting some mustard colored jeans/cords!
  7. And I have birthday $$ to spend!
  8. I hear birds laughing at us when we are running.
  9. I'm excited all the good TV shows are coming back on!
  10. It must be Fall... my FAVORITE season.
  11. Our oldest son, Cameron, is coming to visit us when we are in the Washington DC area in a month!
  12. I'm hungry for some good Mexican food!
  13. We have had to run our furnace quite a bit recently! Time to head South!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I am a part of an online group of very special ladies... I've "known" some of them for 6 years now. Prior to our road trip I had only met one in person. She lived in the Dallas area when we were in Austin, so we met halfway two different times. So fun to meet an online friend and turn them into an "irl" (in real life) friend!

During this year of adventure, I want to meet as many of these ladies as I can! Our road travels are unfortunately not coming close to some of them so those meetings will have to take place another time.

However, I have met two of these ladies so far!

Back in April (our first month of travel), I had the privilege of meeting Raquel and her family!
We stayed in Bakersfield CA for a week so I got to spend more than just a day with her! She's a wonderful wife and mom and a divine cook! We more than enjoyed her creations!

This past weekend, I got to meet a Canadian friend, Annie, and her family!
Annie and her family are on their own adventure. They've recently moved from a small town in Canada to the big city of Toronto! We were parked not too far away in NY and couldn't resist the opportunity to do a bit of travel in Canada and visit Annie, Rob, Shaylin and Cheyenne! It was so fun spending an afternoon with them in their 7th floor apartment! (Another "lifestyle" I think would be fun to live).

All of these ladies have been an important part of my life. Who says online friendships aren't "real"! I know that I have an awesome opportunity to meet some of them in person and I intend to enjoy every minute! While we all lead different lives, are different ages (I'm old enough to be Raquel's mother), and obviously in different seasons of our lives we have a bond that is awesome! I told Annie, it was like we had known each other in high school and recently got back together! Except I did know what her house looked like (we share lots of photos)!

I'm looking forward to meeting up with two more in the next month or so! So you will see updates!

Monday, September 10, 2012

52 things...

Today is my 51st birthday. We are five months into our year-long RV adventure. I've seen blog posts that are titled 26 things I want to do before my 26th birthday... or 32 things I want to do before my 32nd birthday...

So how about 52 things I want to do before I turn 52... and how many weeks are in a year?

  1. See a live starfish in its natural habitat. Hold one if I can?
  2. Try stand up paddle-boarding
  3. Kayak a river or lake
  4. Run a 5k race once a month at least for the rest of our travels (if we can find 'em).
  5. Visit Washington, DC
  6. Visit Asheville, NC
  7. Visit Charleston SC
  8. Visit Savannah GA
  9. Visit as many "homies" as I can
  10. Get a tattoo
  11. Make a supper and invite any "late-arriving" camper that is close to us to share it with us.
  12. Make soap in our RV
  13. Spend the day in Central Park in NY
  14. Highlight my hair with a wild color
  15. Buy coffee for the person behind me at a drive thru Starbucks
  16. Finish my granny square quilt
  17. Finish my scrap knitted scarf
  18. Bake treats for grumpy campground hosts (or friendly ones if we don't encounter any grumpy ones)
  19. One month of primal/paleo eating
  20. Swim/wade in the Atlantic Ocean
  21. Lie on a beach and read
  22. Run on the beach
  23. Recover the valances in our RV
  24. Make covers for the dinette benches
  25. Figure out some kinda cover for the loveseat
  26. Buy fresh eggs from a roadside stand
  27. Eat New York pizza
  28. Eat shrimp and grits
  29. Eat vegetarian for a month
  30. Sit by a fire on the beach
  31. Cook a meal over a fire
  32. Go to a drive-in movie theater
  33. Walk barefoot in the rain
  34. Knit a pair of socks
  35. Drive the truck pulling the RV!
  36. Switch "jobs" with D for an arrival/departure day
  37. Go on a dinner cruise
  38. Try a new-to-me kinda food/restaurant (Indian, Thai, etc.)
  39. Take a cooking class
  40. Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail
  41. Attend a yoga class or two
  42. Read 52 books
  43. Be a work camper somewhere
  44. Volunteer at a food bank
  45. Make a patchwork skirt
  46. Hoop every day for a month
  47. Make a dream catcher
  48. Refashion 12 clothing items
  49. Allow D to pick a challenge for me and do it! YIKES!
  50. Spend Christmas in Florida with my kids
  51. Go to an art exhibit or art museum
  52. Live every day like the adventure it is!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Finds

Just wanted to share what I've been reading this week...

Going back to a simpler life...

I want to do something crazy like this!

I love reading things like this!

Mmm... want to make this soon! I have a pie crust in the freezer!

Make the most of your day!

My new favorite blog A Life Made Simple. I can't even remember how I found this blog and she has not posted in a while because they are busy with their camp managing, but I found myself going back to the beginning and reading forward! I don't do this very often. We have several things in common... life on the road, love of coconut anything, desire to live frugally, naturally and healthfully...

How to follow Jesus... without being Shane Claiborne

Favorite pins...
Enuf said!

Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake - Love peanut butter and Texas Sheet Cake!

Avocado Bacon Toast - Yes!

Yes... in my next house!

Love this floor!
Football season recipe! For the crockpot!