Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beach Day looks like a Hitchcock movie

So, Paul says, "Hey wouldn't it be cool if I put this cheese-it on my chest and had a sea gull come and get it?"  I say, "Sounds like a great idea!" (tongue in cheek)

 This fellow below thought it was a great idea too and he liked the idea he was first on the scene!

Then all of a sudden there were a few more sea gulls, Paul was having a  ball...

 Here little birdie....come and get a treat from this fellow.

Now, we are beginning to look like which Alfred Hichcock movie???

Fortunately, our movie had a happy birds or men were harmed making these photos and a few lucky gulls have orange-stained beeks, they were very cute.
Oh, and we had a perfectly perfect afternoon on the beach!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Signs and Wonders

We have been relaxing here at the beach, riding our bikes, taking nice walks, doing more refining of our little home and just loafing in general.  We are trying not to spend any/very little money.  We have done the beach thing many many times....all you can eat buffets, mini golf,, we are laying low and enjoying the easy flow of beach days with nothing on the agenda.  We sit outside in the evening and enjoy the cool breeze and last night we had the added treat of a lovely rainbow out over the ocean.  I took it as a very good sign and felt God's blessing on our adventure!

My last bouquet picked from our yard and brought to our new home...MiniPearl

Tonight Paul and I took our beach chairs down to the ocean and just sat there enjoying the lovely sunset and watching several folks fish from the edge of the water.  They were having no luck, but were prepared to stay for quite a while and looked like it was something they enjoyed.  We hoped to witness a big haul, but not while we were there....but, we did witness something very cool.  A meteor!  At first I thought it was fire works from somewhere, but the fisherman told us it was a have never seen one, so that is another wonder! Signs and wonders....and they were spectacular and free!!!

Valuable must haves part 1

As  I promised, here is the beginning of the list of really valuable items to take with you when you are headed out on at least a year-long adventure pulling a 17 foot long travel trailer with very limited storage space....***whew***

In the forground, our Britta Water filter pitcher.  Filtered water is a must have and it is very expensive and space consuming to tote bottled water, so we filter our own.  We also have a filter on our hose that leads from the water tap into our camper so we actually double-filter our water and it makes such a difference.  Behind the Britta is our way-cool ice maker machine!  We make ice about every other day and it is a breeze with this little machine.

Above is a photo of a batch of ice cubes being hoisted into the container below

Ice anyone????

Of course I have shared our thought process as to what camper to purchase and for what reasons we chose the Casita Freedom Deluxe....and so far, we are thrilled and pleased with our choice!
I am a big fan of living simple, but I also believe that you can also live well and that is what we plan on doing.  Our camper is very comfortable, our bed is roomy and cozy and the memory foam is the best mattress I have ever slept on!  Our bathroom is wonderful....we shower daily and there is lots of water pressure and hot water!  I can make anything I want to in our well-stocked kitchen and we definately eat well.  So, although we have had to trim our belongings down, we have not forfeited any comforts!
Stay tuned for part 2.....

Friday, May 25, 2012

While we hit "pause"

Our full Pearl

Our empty home

Perhaps you are getting a bit weary of hearing about all of our pre trip activities, well we are too!  Before we could launch this ship we had as many pre-flight checklists as NASA astronauts!!! We got the house emptied, our belongings stored, our property shaped up for the new renters (carpets cleaned, whole house cleaned, yard tidied up etc, etc, etc) We went through every item we were taking to make sure we really deemed it necessary and we lived two whole weeks totallty in our Pearl! We spent a night in a Wal-mart parking lot, moved the camper twice and now we are at the beach for 10 glorious days!!!
AND....if the first photo makes you a bit nervous, please note that I am working on organizing and streamlining the interior of Pearl...she gets a bit wild when we are made up for night time.  Looks like a whole lotta stuff, doesen't it?  I am hoping that this time at the beach will allow me to rethink my shelving and storage situation and I will show some "after" photos.  I did my first grocery shopping and had to really curb myself!  I have been using the emeals program for about 6 months now and I really like their menus for dinners, check them out.  Anyway, my little bitty freezer can hold a bag of frozen corn, a pkg of chopped spinach, a bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a pint of Karmelsutra ice cream, a small bag of shrimp and a small bag of ice!  that is it. The fridge is a real work horse and holds so much, I am amazed, but....I still put bread and jug of oj in the cooler.  I just have to shop more often and not stock up.
Well, enough of the talk for now.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

In the 50s

I find that I am up early these days.  I fill a glass with water, take my little pill and turn on my computer.  Paul is sound asleep and I am happy that I will not bother him while I do my typing.  It is just past 6am and daylight is breaking, very peaceful but chilly.  We got into the 50s during the night and I am cozy with a wonderful thick blanket, but might have to turn on the heat strip that is on the a/c unit.  We have a nice gas furnace, but it is not that cold, the heat strip will keep us comfortable until it warms up outside later on in the day.
Today is SATURDAY.  We remind ourselves of the day and date as this new life does not have the same daily functions that kept us current (smile).  No school.  No job.  No meetings. No obligations. No yard work.  No family functions.  No social.  That is alot of Nos.  Once we are traveling there will be some structure as we will have sights to see, places to go, stuff to do....but for now, we are floating and after the month we have had, this floating feels mighty good!

(Our new pantry)
I have done my first grocery shopping as a full-time occupant of a home with a 4 cu. ft. refrigerator!  Amazing difference.  I made chili yesterday and used a can of tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of chili beans, so I bought replacement cans of those items.  A small carton of 2% milk and no stocking up on anything!!! I brought quite alot of canned goods from our pantry and have managed to store them all in one shelving unit....a miracle!  I don't buy 5# bags of anything anymore.  The habits of an adult life-time are being broken down...happily.  I remember long ago coming home from doing my grocery shopping at the  Commissary at Ramstein AFB, Germany.  We lived in a small village and the owners of our duplex son was in the yard when I drove up and he offered to help me unload my trunk...when I lifed the lid and he saw how very many bags of groceries I had he exclaimed in lovely German accented English, "You are expecting a catastrofe???"  Yep, that's how I shopped, like the end of the world was near.  Not any more tho!
Well, it is still cool and not quite full daylight, maybe I will turn off the computer and catch a few winks ;-)

Falls Lake

(view from our window)
One of the small hassels we face now as nomads is that some camping areas have time limits....we can only stay 2 weeks at a time in any NC State park.  So, after our time was up at Jordan Lake, we pulled MiniPearl down the road to another state park...Falls Lake.  Took us about 20 min. to get here and the facilities are very nice, much like Jordan Lake, but I think a bit bigger, maybe not, but somehow it doesen't seem as busy.  We got here on Thursday and there were not many camping, when we left Jordan it was already filling up with weekenders, not Falls Lake.  Now, it is Saturday and there are more trickeling into the park, but not as many as at Jordan, or maybe we just found the "not-so-busy" camping area.  Either way, it is still a very nice area and we are all set to stay here until next Tuesday when we will head back to Apex for Woody's final band concert. 
Moving was good practice for us as we are still fine-tuning our operation ;-).  One thing we did was re-organize our clothes.  Our cool-weather clothing is in "storage" in a very large camping dufflebag that is easy to carry and access, that freed up lots of space in one of our two large blue plastic containers which occupy the rear end of our Willie Nelson (WN from now on...that's our Pathfinder's name).  We have the extended version with the extra row of seats so we put it all down and have tons of space.  When we travel, we will leave the bed down in MiniPearl so the bedding will not be in the car, but when we are stationery, we will have the table up and the bedding will go inside the car.  We bought 4" memory foam for our bed and it is very comfortable, but such a hassel to move in and out daily....then we used an electric knife (via good hints gleened from internet) to "cut" the foam into three pieces, much easier to handle, but we are finding it still a now, we are on the look out for a double bed size air mattress as we feel that will be alot easier to use daily and to store.  Will see what is out there.  We hope to make a visit to CampingWorld just to see what they might have on hand.
All this to say, we are constantly refining our space. I am glad we have this time before we set out to re-think and redesign to edit and evaluate while we have our storage unit handy.  We decided not to take the screen room, two air mattresses (twin size, high rise and very bulky and heavy), lantern, extra chairs, small table and a suitcase (we both have nice backpacks we are taking).  I took our Yatzee game out of the box and put it in a ziplock bag and that took care of some bulk too!  In the future, I will post listing my "travel essentials for full-time rv life" so you can see what we are taking, what made the "cut".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Tonight is the last night we will sleep in our home that has been home for 24 years.  I read a great article a man wrote about last things...his premise was this:  We mark firsts on calendars, in baby books, photo albums, with parties and festivities....but what about lasts?  Those come and go and we hardly every recognize them until way after....rather sad remembrances most often.  This is a good house and has kept us safe, dry and comfortable for all these years, I do not leave because of any fault in this house! It is just the right size, just the right color, just the right location....this house always makes me smile.  We have entertained so many many friends and loved ones under this roof!  Matt came home here after his time in the Air Force, we came back after Paul's career ended in the Air Force too!  Well, I will not miss this house, I will always carry wonderful memories and know that this house will be a good home to the next family that will be blessed by living in this house.
" for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."