Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My heart...

My nieces:

Sweet McKenzie the owl

Draculaura aka Brynn

Sweetness x 100!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Being invisible vs. standing out

Recently two blogging friends have written about being invisible and not liking to be the center of attention. This is so me! I love wearing clothes that I love and some of them aren't "fashionable" and a bit eclectic... which causes me to stand out. I'm trying to get more comfortable in my own skin so I've been forcing myself to wear them in public and it hasn't been too bad. I get compliments on my PPP clothes that I wear. I just say thanks and move on. But I must say that I prefer to be invisible. But I do love sharing what Shauna of Poor Pitiful Pearl creates!

I struggle with being noticed though. I want to reach out to people, but being around people I don't know is stressful for me and drains my energy fast... I want to be friendly and social but I also want to be invisible and watch...I want to be my authentic self but I don't want to stand out or be the center of attention... I want to be liked but I want to be left alone too... I don't want to be left out but don't want to be included in everything either...I like observing and the freedom that being invisible brings but I also want to be a part of something.

I'm aware that there are several books out there now about how to live as an introvert in this very social world. I haven't read them yet, but they are on my wish list. I've always thought I could fake my way since that's what the world expects. It has only been in the last few years that I've come to recognize that God made me this way for a reason. I don't want to be something I'm not, but I also don't want to use it as an excuse. So I definitely believe there's a balance. That balance is what I'm seeking!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lady in waiting...

Waiting on

... our truck to be fixed. Parts have been ordered.
... the insurance claims adjustor to check out our rig, then for
... the collision center to give it a look over with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is okay
... the hurricane/tropical storm to get by us. It's raining and a bit windy now.

We ended up returning our rental car for the weekend so that we are not responsible should something happen during the storm. So we are kinda stuck in the hotel. There's quite a bit within walking distance, but it's raining so our "outside time" is limited.

My waiting time is not wasted... I've finished knitting a scarf and have started a cowl. Although I only brought one skein of yarn with me from the rig, so I'm hoping that lasts until we can get back out to the rig to get more yarn. I'm also reading... and playing cards on my phone... and of course staying caught up on storm news and internets! Oh yea... there's also a Shipping Wars marathon this afternoon!

Monday, October 22, 2012


And our life right now is FAR from perfect! We had a blow out yesterday of our front driver side tire on the truck. You can read the details here. So at this point we are sitting in a hotel room waiting. I have a feeling we are going to be doing a lot of waiting in the next few weeks!

Blessedly we are both okay, no physical injuries or soreness whatsoever; we are by the ocean; we have a place to sleep and bathe and eat until our rig is "cleared" for living in; and we have lots of people praying for our situation! And we are trying to be aware of why God has us here in this place at this time.

The rest of the DC area...

I mentioned on my DC post about a third item checked off my 52 things list... We hiked a small portion of the Appalachian Trail! We hadn't even thought about how close we were and that first day that Cameron was there, he commented that he thought we might be pretty close. Sure enough, we were and decided to add that to our itinerary. We already had plans to rent a car for the weekend, so on Friday mid morning we headed towards Harpers Ferry WV. I also added two more states to my list that day: Virginia and West Virginia!

We stopped at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy... They had all kinds of info there! On the wall they had photos of people who had done the trail thru-hike (do it all in one continuous journey) and in sections. One blind man and his dog... a 79 yo man who had done it multiple times... another woman who had done it in sections over a 15 year period. Very inspiring! And the guy that worked there was very friendly and informative! He sent us on a hike that was gorgeous... part on the Appalachian Trail and then on Maryland Heights trail ... where soldiers of the Civil War once hiked! It led to an outlook of Harper's Ferry which is a gorgeous little town. We forgot our "real" camera so these photos are taken with my Iphone. I read somewhere that it is the most photographed town in the US... and I can see why!

It was a challenging hike up... but I must say I'd rather hike 6-8 miles than run for 2-3! Hiking, while it can be strenuous, it is so much more enjoyable!

Some sights from our day:

And continuing our exploration in the DC area I got to meet another of my "home girls", Crystal! Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take a photo of us together! But I enjoyed hanging out with her and her adorable children!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday favs...

What I've been influenced by lately...


31 days... thrift, margin, shopping with purpose, and going

A journey without a goal.

Recent pins...

I used to have a good creamy tortellini recipe and cannot find it now... This one is close!

I'm on the search for a cozy flannel shirt!

Love this cozy and eclectic kitchen!

Enjoy today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This way of living...

Love it or leave it? David's post on reflections of the first 6 months has spawned a couple of posts by other bloggers. I do believe that some people who are fulltime travelers have created a Utopic life based on their lives before rv'ing. And while David did poke a bit of fun at people who idealize the lifestyle, that's also the way he writes... finding humor in everything. 

I think for some full time travelers, it is such a 180 degree "flip-flop" from their previous lifestyle that it IS Utopia for them. For us, we loved our previous "lifestyle" of living in a rural area on a couple of acres... we just want to experience other lifestyles and this is one of them! With that said, I'm enjoying living in our small home, traveling, freedom, and many other positives of the full time traveling lifestyle. Yes, I do miss some things, but I'm sure once we live in a sticks and bricks again, I'll miss aspects of the traveling lifestyle. I think just because I miss some things, it doesn't mean I don't like the way we are living now! And this is what I'm working on! Living in the moment... where I am! It is a work in progress!

I admit that I'm fickle and David will be the first one to say amen to that. But it's just because I want to experience it all! One of the blog posts I linked to above listed 5 "darker sides" to RV living... and after I'd read them, I don't think of them as the "darker" side at all! I love "living" in our RV and traveling while living; I love living in the small space; I feel refreshed when we get to a new campground; we continue to live on a budget like we always have and always will; and I enjoy being close to David! All of those are positives to me. Yes, we have trying days but we had those in our sticks and bricks too!
The very last paragraph of Nina's post is spot on!
So is fulltime RVing for everyone? Hell no! If you’re not adaptable, flexible, relaxed about travel & weather, love being around your other half, comfortable in a small space and have a decent sense of humor this lifestyle might well fail you. That’s not to say you can’t be all those things in a stix & brix house, but space and plans are even more likey to be “jello” in an RV, so you gotta be prepared for the unexpected. And the positives? Freedom, adventure and memories to last a lifetime. For me, those three little things totally outdo the negatives. For you? Well, you’ll have to make that decision for yourself.

I think we are still in the "newlywed" phase of fulltime traveling. We are still figuring out what works for us and what doesn't. While David took the humorous approach to the positives and negatives of fulltime traveling, I think that we both think the positives still outweigh the negatives. And the few negatives that are the "big deals" can be solved. So we are working on that in the coming months!

As far as missing our family and Texas, we have the freedom to head back there at any point! Hang out for a while with family and friends and get our Mexican food, Whataburger and barbecue fixes; then head out once again. Who knows! =)

My simple life...

What is the simple life? It's different for everyone. This is what's cool about it! You GET to define it yourself! And from my experience it changes with the seasons of life.

For me right now, it's

...homecooked meals
...few possessions; "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." ~William Morris

...being in the moment choices... in food, clothing, books
...being passionate about what matters and the time and energy to do what matters
...consuming less and experiencing more

...being resourceful with meals and decor and needed items

...creating over buying
...less go, go, go and more contented stay
...less "have to's" and more "get-to's";
...less noise and more quiet 
...being in nature... often

...making my body healthy by an active lifestyle vs. working out at the gym

...appreciating the little things
...being debt-free shopping mall "therapy"; more get outside and enjoy God's creation
...using natural beauty and personal health products

Hoping to infuse more of

...less internet; more creating and connecting
...less trying to please everyone; more trying to please God
...less "dependence" on big grocery stores; more contentment with simple food
...less reading on a screen; more reading books

Monday, October 15, 2012

Check, check, check on the 52 things!

Washington DC... not a "must-visit" for me in general, BUT one of my home girls lives nearby and it was a "must-see" for our oldest son, Cameron. I think he's been just as excited for our year-long RV adventure as we are cause he had free accommodations anywhere we went! So about a month ago, he booked his ticket to Washington DC!

So that's where we headed! We are staying in Maryland just outside of DC in a "got-their-act-together" RV park... Cherry Hill Park! Very close and convenient to DC and public transportation! Every day they have a 45-minute sightseeing session to give guests the ins and outs of visiting DC. Very informative!

Cameron's first full day here we rode a bus that picked us up right in the park and took us to the train station; then took the train into DC. There is a LOT to see in DC and a lot of it is FREE! We like that! Stepping out of the subway train station we were on Pennsylvania Avenue. We were armed with maps of all kinds! First stop: The National Air and Space Museum. With two aviation fans traveling with me, this was a no-brainer. BUT as we walked by the Art Museum, I realized I could check off another of my bucket list items! And my sweet husband who worries about keeping his "man-card" in check felt he needed to attend with me. Cameron headed on to the Air and Space Museum.

Eh... on the Art Museum. I've really never gotten into paintings and sculptures but I wanted to know if I could. It didn't do a whole lot for me. There were beautiful paintings... and I enjoyed the "real life" paintings in being able to see glimpses of times past, but it's not something I would make as a regular occurrence. 

Me outside the National Museum of Art

From there, David and I met up with Cameron at the Air and Space Museum. Lots of airplanes and such... I did enjoy the exhibit about the Lindburghs and Amelia Earhart!

These two LOVED it!

My dad worked for BF Goodrich Aerospace for a while! This photo was for him!
It was lunchtime and we knew that we wanted to eat at the Supreme Court dining room/cafeteria (lil' tidbit we learned from our sightseeing session)! So we headed towards the Capitol. It is gorgeous: the building itself and the grounds!

By the way, this is the FIRST no clouds/sunny day we have seen in a LONG time!

We entered the Supreme Court building (another beautiful building) and found the cafeteria... Great meal and very reasonably priced! The lady that did our sightseeing session told of a couple that had recently eaten here and they saw John McCain... we, however, saw no one we recognized.

From here we headed towards the White House at the other end of the National Mall. We really enjoyed our walking tour of the city! We passed by the American History Museum and Cameron and I  knew we wanted to go inside here, so we made note of that! The White House is just like the pictures show... Beautiful grounds and garden...

From here we gawked at the Washington Monument (still closed from the earthquake)... then headed back towards the American History Museum. David opted to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine while Cameron and I went inside and went our separate ways. I was headed to the First Lady's exhibit. Then I wandered onto the Within These Walls which was my FAVORITE! By this time, my legs were beginning to ache! So while there was still more I wanted to see, I decided to head outside and join David sitting!

It was a beautiful day to be outside! We enjoyed our time together and seeing all the sites we've only read about and seen on TV. Two things checked off my 52 things list... Coming up, the third thing while we were in the DC area...

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I left my heart in... San F  New York City! 

We visited NYC in 2000 with our boys. They were 12 and 9 at the time and we all loved our time in NYC. The two things we didn't do that time was visit Central Park and see a Broadway show. D wasn't very excited about Broadway... at first he even nixed going into the city. But I prayed really hard that God would change his mind... =)

While visiting my friend, Kristen, and her family, her husband and son commented that they enjoyed a show when they weren't sure if they would. That began the melting... Once we started researching the shows, he found a couple that sounded interesting. 

Anyway... back to our trip. We stayed in a hotel in NJ about 2 hours from where our home was parked. Okay, it wasn't really 2 hours... Magella (our GPS) said it was 1.5 hours but she led us astray and wasn't very explicit with her "stay to the left"... so we kinda went out of the way a bit. 

Saturday morning we walked over to Dunkin for coffee and donuts, then walked a little less than a mile to the bus stop that would take us into NYC... Great bus ride of about 35 minutes that took us to the Port Authority in NYC! Ahhhhh... the vibe of that city is intoxicating! We stepped out onto the street full of yellow! We just stood there and looked around for a few minutes taking it all in! Then we got our bearings. We had a plan!

We headed first to the Tkts Discount Booth in Times Square to score some "discount" Broadway tickets for a matinee. There was already a line (it was 9:20 and the booth opened at 10am). So we waited... and waited... people watching was great there! We had a first and second choice... then one of the tkts people suggested having 3 choices so we chose our 3rd choice. Once the booth opened the line moved pretty quickly... until the family right before us in our line. Oy! I don't know what the hold up was but they were there a long time and walked away without buying anything! We nearly fainted when we heard what the discount price was for our first choice. It might have helped had we looked at the price of the shows before hand. So we asked about our second choice and it was $9 cheaper... I was ready to fly... but D stood his ground and bought the tickets... to Rock of Ages

From there we headed to Central Park, enjoying the sights as we walked along. Lots of delis (prospects for lunch?), lots of people (so we thought)... I see trees ahead! Walking into Central Park was just as I imagined it would be. Horse-drawn carriages, bicyclists, runners, walkers, dog-walkers... it was all there! Beautiful green grounds... unfortunately, the Fall colors haven't hit here yet. We walked for a bit, then picked out a park bench to sit and people watch. 

Making our plans, we decided to head to The Pastrami Queen  (great reviews on Yelp). It was a ways away but we "had" to walk thru Central Park to get there. More gorgeous parts of the park! And we saw the Mall! Wow!

As we were walking thru the park, I'd see someone sitting on a bench with a coffee and a book and think that I'd like to be doing that. We saw couples running and I'd like to be doing that... I could so imagine myself being there on a daily basis!

Coming out of the park we were on the Upper East Side... you could tell it was a very wealthy residential area. Hardly any people... beautiful homes... I couldn't see myself living here... I want to experience the "working people's" neighborhoods! The prices at the deli informed us we were still in NYC but also in a very wealthy neighborhood! But wow! was it good! We shared a pastrami sandwich with garlic fries. Oh my... it was so good! It was a small place and no one else came in to eat there but there were several take-outs and the delivery guy was very BUSY!

We had to be back for our matinee at 1:30 so we headed back towards Time Square walking for a while along Park Avenue, then 5th Avenue. The shops were mostly designer names I'd never heard of... but some I had (hello Project Runway!) like Michael Kors. I'm looking for thrift stores and this is not the area for that! =) We did go into a Walgreens for some gum!

We arrived at the Helen Hayes Theater a few minutes before they opened the doors and ended up being first in line! Once inside, we bought a very EXPENSIVE coke (we were both thirsty) and were able to find our seats on the Mezzanine level. What a beautiful theater! It was "old school" as D commented! No photo-taking allowed in the theater... 

Goofy (said he was losing his "man-card" by going to the theater)

And protesting showing his face...

The 2+ hour show was fantastic! Even D loved it! The cast was very talented, the music was great (we dated in the 80's) and the storyline itself was hilarious! The 2 hours went by so fast! I would go back and see it again if given the opportunity! My favorite character was Regina (a hippy City Planner from Berkley)... cause I fell in love with her costume! And the young lady that played her was the cutest thing... very animated and could belt out in a huge beautiful voice! The voices, the dancing, the humor... it was all SO GOOD! It was a great experience for this Broadway virgin! And made me hunger for more! I was so sad when it was over!

When we made our way out to the street, it was packed! Overpacked! Where did all of these people come from! On our walk towards the Port Authority where we would catch our bus back to NJ, we were in crowds. I noticed David's hand on the small of my back several times and continue to be amazed at how he watches over me! We stopped at Starbucks for a quick pick-me-up hoping there'd be a place to sit inside... there wasn't. So we kept walking... Once inside the Port Authority we finally found where we needed to  purchase our tickets thanks to the help of some stranger! We must have looked lost as he approached us and we were on guard. But evidently he just wanted to help!

I was sad to be leaving NYC... I would have loved to go back the next day... and the next... and the next. =) I even researched monthly rentals! I'm not sure how it would be living in such a busy and active place day in and day out, but I'd sure love to give it a try! I think! I always tend to see the "romantic" side of lifestyles that intrigue me. But hey, you only live once! Why not try it all!

Good-bye NYC... I will be back!