Cruising Along

I am in full preparation mode for our cruise, so this will be the last blog post for the next 1 1/2 weeks.  Once we return, I’ll get back to blogging, sharing pictures and stories of our adventures, both on land and on sea.

Bon Voyage for now!

Posted in Cruise, Vacation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

It Feels Like Home

Sorry about the lack of posts over the last few days. Our move from RV to RV has made things a bit hectic and I’m still trying to get everything sorted out, organized and put away. On top of that, we leave in a mere six days for our week-long cruise, so while I’m trying to find a place for everything and put everything in its place, I’m also trying to get everything together and ready for our much needed vacation.

The RV to RV move went well. We arrived at the dealership, did our walk-thru and a couple guys from the dealership helped us move everything over. We signed some more paperwork and then hubby headed to the RV park with the delivery driver. My job was paying for the additions to the RV and grabbing lunch for hubby and me.

When I arrived to the RV park, hubby, the delivery driver and our neighbor were standing on our site talking. Hogwarts (our new Oakmont) was sitting on the driveway. Apparently, they were waiting for me to tell them exactly where I wanted it positioned on our site.

After some discussion, the driver backed Hogwarts into our space and before we knew it, the leveling jacks were being lowered, hubby got the power going, the water connected and the black/gray tank hose set up. Then the fun began! It was time to start putting things away and very quickly I knew that we were going to need to pick up some things to get everything organized.

*Additional shelving would be needed in the cabinets to better utilize the space so I could all our canned and boxed foods away.

*Shelving would need to be added under the kitchen sink for putting away pots, pans and small kitchen appliances.

*The girl’s bunkroom was in desperate need of a small bookcase for their homeschool materials.

*Food for the dogs, which was once housed under the dinette seats in Georgette, needed a container.

*The coat closet, which is pretty much useless as a coat closet, needed shelving for the more useful purpose of storing things like cleaning products, tissues, and toilet paper.

*Cabinets above the sofa would need some containers for housing everything from paper plates to batteries.

I began making lists and taking measurements so we could start the organization process.

So far we’ve made one trip to IKEA and the girls now have a bookcase in their room, but the trip wasn’t nearly as successful as I had hoped. I have a feeling there will be a lot more trips to IKEA, Lowe’s, Home Depot and the Container Store in my future as I try desperately to get everything organized.

Once things are organized and put away, I will be taking pictures and sharing them here for all to see.

Overall though, we’re loving Hogwarts. Not only is the extra space nice, but it just feels like home.

Posted in Organization, RV, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Perfect for Full-Time Living

We have two more nights in Georgette. In preparation for our upcoming move from RV to RV, I’m packing yet again. I’ve been packing and repacking for the last 3 months and quite honestly, I’m a little tired of packing. I’m ready to feel settled, so the excitement of this move is growing rapidly.

(This cartoon is so true)

Settled has become a bit foreign to us and some might question how we could possibly feel settled living in an RV.

RV living has become quite popular and it’s not just popular with the retirees. It has become very popular with families. So popular in fact, RV parks have waiting lists and some have waiting lists that require you to get on the list months and months in advance.

The RV park we’re in had a waiting list and we were fortunate to get in a couple weeks earlier than first anticipated. For a matter-of-fact, we’re on a waiting list for another RV park and went on that waiting list the same time we were put on the waiting list here. We still haven’t gotten a call. I should add that after driving thru the other RV park, we have decided to stay put. While the other park would be a little closer to the office for hubby, we’re in a much nicer RV park now and quite happy being here. I suppose I should call the other park and have them remove our name.

But I digress. I believe we can and will feel very settled in the new RV. It may take some time as we get things put away and organized, but we will get settled.

Earlier this evening we were discussing our upcoming move and hubby hit the nail on the head.

Georgette makes us feel like we’re camping.

DSC_0479 (2)

It is little things that I really liked about Georgette when we got her, that are driving me a bit crazy now.

Like the storage under the dinette seats. It’s great to have that storage space, but to get anything out we have to remove the back seat cushion, hold up the seat, pull out what we want and then put everything back together again. Repeat for putting things away. Perfect for camping, not so perfect for full-time living.

To get into our bed, we climb in from the end of the bed. There is maybe 5-6 inches on either side of the bed. It’s just enough that I can shimmy alongside the bed to make it, but there isn’t enough room that we can get into the bed from the side. Getting into bed requires crawling from the end of the bed. Perfect for camping, not so perfect for full-time living.

Lack of counter space has become a big issue as well. I’ve seen some RV’s with a terrific amount of counter space, but for the most part, RV’s aren’t known for having ample counter space. At least not the RV’s we can afford. After all, when you’re camping, you don’t necessarily need a ton of counter space. You’re spending a lot of time outdoors and the RV is that convenient place for sleeping, taking a shower or having somewhere dry to go on those rainy days. When camping, most of our cooking is being done outside. Perfect for camping, not so perfect for full-time living.

I realize that for some full-timers, what we have would be more than enough. We each have those things that are important to us and had I been looking at RV’s thru the lens of full-timing when we bought Georgette, we wouldn’t have Georgette. Maybe I should expound on this a bit.

If we were traveling full-time, Georgette would probably fit the bill just fine. We have discovered that what we want/need while traveling is very different from what we want/need staying stationary. We have been trying to set up home in an RV that is meant for travel. A year ago, when we ordered Georgette, we had no idea we would one day be trying to make her our home. For our family, she is the perfect travel companion. Unfortunately for our family, she’s not the perfect home.

Lili told me yesterday that she’s going to miss Georgette. I will too! In the short time we’ve had her, we’ve made some wonderful memories and we will carry those memories with us forever.

Now it’s time for some new memories to be made. For now, those memories won’t include camping trips, but we do look forward to getting settled in our new RV home. Perfect for full-time living.

Posted in Home, RVing, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Emotions on Cruise

It has finally happened! I’ve gone from feeling like I’m on an extended vacation

to feeling like I’ve actually moved elsewhere.

Not that my brain didn’t already know that I had moved, but living in an RV tends to leave a person in a state of vacation or at least this person :-)

Since receiving the job offer three months ago, our life has been a whirlwind of activity.

There really wasn’t time to focus on all that was happening. I had to get things done and they had to be done quickly.

When we arrived in Texas, the activity level remained high. We arrived 12 days before Christmas and there was much to do. The holidays came and went, but during that time we also decided to trade in Georgette on a 5th wheel, so we were busy shopping, making those decisions and preparing for yet another move. Back in Illinois we had people in and out working on our house getting it ready to put on the market and I was busy making sure everything was lined up and getting done. Our house went on the market and two days later we had an offer. I was prepared for months of waiting for our house to sell.

For the last three months it has been an avalanche of activity in our lives

and now that things are beginning to settle down, I’m feeling the emotions of this major life event, fluctuating between excitement, frustration, anxiousness and impatience.

Of course I am trying to give myself a little latitude. After all, we had several major life events happen all at once – hubby started a new job, we moved across country, our foster son’s moved to a new foster home, we listed our house and we’re living in an RV.

Having some big emotions over all the changes are normal, but emotions aren’t a bad thing. This means I’m finally starting to accept and adjust to all the changes that have occurred and these emotions have also reignited the excitement about our upcoming cruise.  A celebration of 30 years of marriage.  An opportunity to get away from everything for a week.  A chance to see some new parts of the world.  The opportunity to just relax and enjoy life before we get back to reality.

It will be a welcome respite and I can’t wait to walk on board the ship, order a drink and say bon voyage.


Posted in Changes, Foster Care, Relocating, RV, Selling our Home | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tell You What I Want

What I really, really want . . . . .

We’re house/dog sitting this weekend. After living in our small space for the last month, being in a large home feels strangely uncomfortable. Not in a terrible way. Just uncomfortable. There is so much space between all of us and it makes me realize just how much untogetherness my family has been experiencing over the years.

One of our dogs isn’t handling this big space very well. She runs around in a panic trying to figure out how to get out and as I write this, she is sitting in front of me with her body pressed up against my legs. At least she’s calming down a bit, but the newness of the last month has been taking its toll on her psyche. She really likes our little home. She seems very comfortable in that space. We’re all right there together in our cozy little space and that makes her feel safe. But since arriving in Texas she’s gone to be groomed and has had to meet a new vet. In a couple weeks we’ll add insult to injury when we take all three dogs to boarding and leave on a week-long cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Right now I feel this cruise is well deserved and needed, but I’m quite sure my anxiety ridden dog will not feel the same. She is going to be thrown into yet another new situation and hopefully she’ll handle it better than I’m anticipating. If not, I may be seeking out the services of a dog psychiatrist (do they exist?)

Our RVing experience has caused me to really think long and hard about our next home and exactly what will make us happiest. Now that we have an offer on our house, I feel that we can really begin to make plans for our future Texas home.

At this point, I certainly can’t see us settling in another 3600 sq ft home. Something much smaller is very likely in our future. What we really want more than anything is nice outdoor space. An extension of our indoor space so-to-speak. A nice covered patio area for outdoor dining or just sitting outside in the morning enjoying a cup of tea or in the evening with a tall glass of iced tea (or whatever cold drink suits my fancy).

With the pool because we’ll need to cool off during those long hot Texas summer days.

Space for keyhole gardening, which I’m determined to do here in Texas.

At this point I want my outdoor space to be larger than my indoor space.

Will we be able to find this without hubby’s commute being terribly long?

Not sure, but it’s what I really really want and we should have plenty of time to find it.

Posted in Dreams, Gardening, Pets, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

News and More News

It has been requested that I blog more often and I really have had the best intentions when it comes to blogging. In this world of social media, blogging has remained my favorite venue for sharing information. It’s become very easy to open FB to see what’s going on, but it’s just not the same for me. Knowing that I have friends in blogland who make an effort to visit my little corner of the world really does brighten my day. I feel a connection to my readers and that connection just isn’t the same in FB Land. So I am going to try very hard to blog much more often. After all, our life is full of new experiences right now and you might just find some of those experiences interesting and amusing.

Like my trip into Dallas yesterday evening to join hubby and some of his co-workers for dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. It was the first time some of his co-workers had tried Ethiopian food and I’m happy to report that they really enjoyed it. However, the trip to the restaurant was an adventure.

Because I now have my vehicle registered in the State of Texas, I wanted to avoid the tolls. I see no reason to incur unnecessary expenses, so I changed the settings on my GPS, put in the address and headed out. After a stop at CVS to pick up some notebooks for the girl’s school work, and another stop for gas and a Powerball ticket (non-winning ticket of course), we were on our way.

Let me just say that I’ve had some serious direction challenges since relocating to the Dallas area. Specifically, I feel like I’m traveling north when I’m actually travelling south and then I begin to question the GPS.

Yesterday I questioned it to the point I was resetting it. Not once, but twice folks!!!! Finally, I decided to look at the dash and realized I was in fact travelling south and since we’re living in North Dallas and I needed to be in Dallas, I needed to be heading south. So I continued on my way in hopes that the girls and I would make it to the restaurant.

Then I realized we left way too early. Ha, ha, ha!!!! NOT!!!!

Rush hour traffic + avoiding tolls = Long Commute to Restaurant

It was approximately 1 ½ hours from the time we left home until we arrived to our destination. Yes, we made two stops along the way, but it was only about 20 miles from where we live. Toto, we aren’t in Central Illinois anymore.

The commute was worth it though. We had a wonderful dinner

and part of getting established in a new area is making friends. Hubby’s co-workers are very nice and we had met one of the families during our trip to Dallas this past October. They have son who is the same age as Lili and the kids reconnected beautifully and had a fabulous time together. A bonus is that this little boy’s mom is an awesome Ethiopian woman who has invited me to come over for some Ethiopian cooking classes in her home. I will be taking her up on that offer in the not too distant future and I’m sure the girls will enjoy spending more time with their friend as well.

The other big news from the World of Weeks – Dallas, is that Lili will be taking an art class. My art loving girl will be so happy to get back into art classes and there are two girls from the local homeschool group in the class. Setting up opportunities for the girls to make new friends is really important and this is a great opportunity to do just that. Now, to find a class that Naomi will enjoy.

The biggest news though is that we have an offer on our house in Illinois! It was officially listed on Monday and by Wednesday we had an offer. A decent offer too!

Now to answer the most popular question asked since getting the offer.

Does this mean we’ll be buying a house here sooner than we thought?

The answer is, probably not and there is a list of reasons why.

  • The sale of our house will require money out of our pocket. Prior to our adoptions, we refinanced our home. The money from the refinance provided us the majority of funds to complete our adoptions, but then the housing market crashed. There won’t be money from the sale of the house to roll over to a new house, so we’ll be saving money toward a new house. That’s going to take time.
  • The upside is that we really do enjoy RV living and aren’t in a rush to move anytime soon.
  • We haven’t done any real exploring around the DFW area. We don’t know exactly where we would like to end up and we want to narrow down location(s) before we begin looking for a home. The last thing we want to do is buy a house in a neighborhood we won’t be happy living in long-term. So for the time being, we’re staying put and will continue to enjoy our RV lifestyle for the next 1+ years as we had originally planned.
  • We have some other things on our plates right now, like our upcoming cruise and like I said before, we’re really not in a big rush to get moved right now. After all, we just moved and will be moving again next week when we switch over from Georgette to the Oakmont (Who the girls now think we should call Hogwarts. We’re big Harry Potter fans.)

As is typical of our life, there is never a dull moment and we prefer it that way.

Posted in Art, Home, Updates | Tagged | 1 Comment

Getting Established

Getting established in a new location is a process.   Getting established when you’re living in an RV makes it even more interesting.

Yesterday, the girls and I headed out to build our establishment here in Texas and 3 hours later I had my vehicle registered and step one of my Texas driver’s license completed.  Unlike Illinois where I can go in to the local DMV to get my vehicle registered and walk out with a new driver’s license, I needed to make two stops.  Texas also mails you a driver’s license instead of issuing them on the stop.  Seems like a waste of time, energy and money to give me a print-out of a temporary license and then mail me my permanent license, but it’s how the system is set up here.

Of course there always seems to be a little drama in the process.

The girls and I had waited about 1 1/2 hours for our number to be called for my driver’s license.  I was absolutely sure I had everything I needed – my IL driver’s license, my passport, a piece of mail from our mortgage company with our new address listed, my social security card and my new vehicle registration with our new address.  Then the snafu!!!!  The mail from the mortgage company was not acceptable because it had our Illinois residence address on it as well.  We bank on-line, so I don’t get bank statements.  Most of our bills are paid on-line so I don’t get anything official with my name and address on it.  Fortunately, I had the nice guy at the counter helping me and he allowed me to log in to my bank account to print a copy of my latest bank statement with my new address on it.  Yet I still had to chuckle at the irony of it all.  I’m walking in with mail that has been sent to me at my new address.  The office that gave me my vehicle registration accepted all documents to register my vehicle at our new address.  I had everything else and yet they needed to see a document from an on-line bank statement that listed my new address.  It’s on-line folk!!!!  I was able to go out and change the address myself.  I didn’t have to prove anything to the bank at all.  LOL!!!!!  In the end though, I walked out with a print-out of my temporary license and the top it off, I’m going to receive a voter’s registration card in the mail as well so I can vote in the primaries.  Woo Hoo!!!!

Because we’re in to giving Texas our money these days, I also ordered our toll tags.  This is the first time we’ve lived this close to toll roads and hubby takes them daily back and forth to work.  Okay, maybe he’ll be finding an alternate route now that he has to pay to go back and forth to work, but we have our toll tag account established now as well.

In 30 years of marriage, we have moved no less than 8 times.

We have another move coming up next week when we move everything from Georgette to the Oakmont (who still doesn’t have a name) and eventually we will buy a house and move again.  It’s been a very different move physically and emotionally this time around, in both good and bad ways.  Mostly good though and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store in the World of Weeks.

Posted in Relocating | Tagged | 4 Comments