RV Options

For those who followed our move from Illinois to Texas, you know that we lived in our RV full-time while waiting for our house in Illinois to sell.  The Class A RV we had, while great for travel was not great for full-time living.

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As a result, we traded it in on a large 5th wheel.

We purchased the 5th wheel knowing we would be living in it for 1 or more years.  After all, we had a house to sell back in Illinois and the housing market back there wasn’t very good at all.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t have a truck to tow it with, because we would be living in it, not traveling with it.  So we made the purchase and arrangements to have it delivered to our space at the RV park.

We had hired a couple of people to do some work on our house back in Illinois before putting it on the market and the purchase of the 5th wheel was complete when our realtor was finally able to list our house.  Three days later we got the call that someone had put in an offer on the house.  It was a good offer that we accepted and we found ourselves in the position of now owning a 5th wheel with the option of being able to purchase a sticks and bricks home in Texas.

They say hindsight it 20/20 and in this case, it may have made a bit more sense to wait until after our house was listed before purchasing a different RV.  However, we all make decisions based on the information we have on hand and our information lead us to believe our house really would not sell quickly and certainly not as quickly as it did.

We lived in the 5th wheel for about 5 1/2 months before closing on our house here in Texas and after getting some warranty work done, we moved her to a storage facility.  There she sits, unused 😦

Now that we are feeling settled in our new home, hubby and I have begun having conversation about what we do with her.  It doesn’t make sense to make payments on something we are unable to use.  We could go out and buy a truck to pull her with, but she takes a pretty good-sized truck and neither hubby or I want to drive that big of a truck around on a regular basis.  Plus, we’ll likely be adding a couple foster kids to our household in the not too distant future.  Putting six people in the cab of a truck, while doable, isn’t a great idea in our book.  I really don’t like the idea of a child in the front seat and that would be our only option.

So, we nixed the idea of buying a truck to keep the 5th wheel and decided to hit the Dallas RV Show over the weekend in an effort to make a decision on an RV.

We left the RV show without making a decision.  At least not a final decision.

After looking at some Class C’s and a couple of Class A’s, we decided that a travel trailer probably made the most sense.  Maybe something we can tow with our Suburban.  Now it’s a matter of determining exactly how much our Suburban can pull.  Or will it make more sense to get a heavy-duty van that can more easily pull a travel trailer?  A van would certainly be more comfortable for two adults, four kids and three dogs, but we’re just not sure what would be best at this point.  At least we can begin looking into all of this and will hopefully find something that works well for our family so we can get back into camping.  After all, unlike Illinois, camping in Texas is a year-round event and we should take advantage of that.  Plus, camping helps fill my travel bug 🙂

 

 

 

 

Plans Change

We have had a lot of plans for our future and as is true for most of us in life, those plans sometimes need to change.

One thing our move to Texas has made me realize, is that I need to let go of some of those things I really had hoped to do in life. Like farming. Yes, I’ve had to let go of the farming dream. For a number of reasons, it’s just not feasible for us in the future.

Why?

For those of us who may not be familiar with the Dallas area, it’s a very large city that is growing in leaps and bounds right now.

Hubby recently heard that there were approximately 1000 people per day moving into the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area. Texas has made it easy and lucrative for businesses to move here and that is exactly what they are doing. Many large companies have pulled roots from other states and move or are moving to Texas. Dallas is a magnet for many of these companies who are building their offices here. This, of course, means building more houses, apartments, roads, schools, etc.   This also means buying up more farm land to expand and build on. Every day I pass fields with farm animals roaming around as shopping centers are being built across the street and roads expanded to carry the additional traffic thru that area.  The land that those buildings and road are now sitting on used to pasture for these farm animals, so there is less farm land available now.

While roads are being expanded and probably beyond, traffic becomes a problem. We’re fortunate to enjoy some farm scenery around the RV park, but this also means hubby is commuting to work. His commute can vary from 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. While this is doable for the time being, it’s not something he wants to do his entire working career here and I don’t want him to. After all, any additional time he spends on the road is time he isn’t here with his family. That’s not a good trade-off.

The additional influx of businesses means the job market here is outstanding!!! It also means the real estate market is booming. As I’ve looked at real estate have discovered three things.

  1. The cost of buying land we can build on is more than we can afford.
  2. The cost of buying an existing farm is even more cost prohibitive.
  3. Hubby’s commute would be as far as, or possibly further than it is now.

Aside from the cost and commute, we have had to decide what is most important. Specifically, what are our priorities now that we live in the DFW area?

Ultimately, we decided that getting a farm down here is out of the question.  My hope is that we are able to find a home that sits on a large enough piece of property that I can do some gardening. That will be the extent of our farm life. A home with a pool and nice outdoor living space is what we will look for in our home down here. More travel seeing other parts of Texas, the U.S. and the world is what we desire.

Some of that travel will need to include visits to other’s farms so I can get my fill of the farm life I’m leaving behind.

Sometimes our priorities in life change and even though I would love to do all those things my heart desires, I have to pick and choose those things that are most important – spending time with family, seeing the world, enjoying life – those are the biggest desires of my heart so that is what I need to do.

We close on our home in Illinois next week and some have asked when we’ll be buying a house down here.

Unfortunately, because the housing market hasn’t bounced back in Central Illinois like it has here in the DFW area, we won’t be putting any money in the bank from the sale of our house. We refinanced our house when the market was really good and used the additional funds toward the adoption of our girls. In essence, we received the proceeds several years ago and now we’ll be in the position of trying to save enough money to buy a house down here.

All the changes in our life are good though. These changes are life experiences and life experiences are what keeps life interesting.

So we’ll continue to enjoy RV living. We’ll enjoy some travel. We’ll spend time with family. Hopefully one day we’ll buy a house. Along the way, we’ll do our best to enjoy life and make memories.

 

 

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.

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.

 

A Long Week

It’s been a long week of illness around here.

Naomi with a double ear infection.  Lili and I with possible pneumonia (we elected to not get a chest x-ray for verification).

Naomi is feeling a lot better.  Lili is feeling better.  I’m feeling marginally better.  Although not as good today as yesterday.  Maybe it’s the weather, which is now cloudy and cold, but after running errands this morning, we all hunkered down for a lazy day of movie watching, blogging, web surfing and napping.

On this cloudy and cold day, our little home on wheels has certainly felt cozy and that is just the way we like it.  None of us felt like doing much of anything and Georgette provided us nice warm accommodations during our laziness today.

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Georgette’s days with us are now numbered and on January 20th, we will drive her away from the RV park and take her to the dealership.  All our belonging will be moved over to our new Oakmont (who desperately needs a name) which will then be delivered and set up back to the RV park.  Georgette, will hopefully find a new family soon who we hope will enjoy her as much as we have.

I’m a little sad to see Georgette go, but she now represents our past life.  That life included two little boys who shared her with us.  She was perfect for our little weekend camping trips and our longer vacations away from home.  Those kind of trips are not on the horizon now.  Life has changed in a big way.  As such, our needs have changed as well.  We no longer own a vacation home.  Our home on wheels is just that – our home.  We look forward to moving on to the Oakmont (who still needs a name) and are excited for the extra space.

In other news from the World of Weeks, we met up with a local homeschool group yesterday.  It was a chilly park day, so our visit wasn’t long, but it was nice to begin making some connections in the homeschool community here.

We also visited a local library and once I get my Texas driver’s license, we can get a library card.  We’ll really be established then 🙂

Other than being sick this week, things are still going well and I hope to get into a more regular blogging pattern once things settle down a little more and we can establish better internet connectivity.

 

 

An RV Christmas Project

We have 32 more days before we’ll be living in our RV full-time and we’ll be arriving less than two weeks before Christmas.  I’m taking a small tree and decorations, which we’ll be setting up as soon as we get the RV parked.  Because I like to create wonderful memories, I was hoping to come up with a fun Christmas craft project we could do this year.

Tonight, I saw a video someone posted on Facebook and I knew I had found our RV craft project.  Even though I couldn’t understand one word this woman was saying, the projects on the video are pretty self-explanatory.  I think the girls and I will tackle the second project – some fun Christmas colored embroidery floss, water, glue, balloons and white Christmas lights (minus the blinking) and we have a cute RV Christmas decoration.

What fun projects do you have planned this holiday season?

Georgette and the Great Southeast Adventure – Part 5

We woke up to another beautiful day and it was clear that we would be spending the majority of our day at the campground.  There was swimming to be done, but the bigger reason was LAUNDRY!  The amount of laundry six people can accumulate in 5 days is amazing.  All that laundry in approximately 300 square feet is crazy.  So I headed out in   search of the campground laundry facilities.  I walked thru the campground, over the parking lot, past the pool and found the laundry room.  Boy was I glad we still had the rental vehicle!   I had two full laundry bags that needed attention and they were heavy.  It would not have been fun dragging them to the laundry room.  It was also in that moment I decided I would invest in a collapsible wagon.

I’m quite sure there are more RV trips in our future that will require doing some laundry. Having something to haul those heavy bags in seems like a good investment and as I was doing laundry I began to think of other uses for this wagon – carrying small children, carrying pool towels and toys, loading and unloading the RV at home.  The ideas just kept coming.

But enough about my need/want/desire for a folding wagon.

After some time at the pool and with clean laundry put away, we decided to grab some dinner and pick up some needed grocery items.

We found a Mexican restaurant not too far from the campground –  La Poblanita.  It got some high ratings and having eaten there, I would agree that rating is well deserved.  Even being short staffed, they provided good service and the food was awesome!

I didn’t get many pictures of our day.  After all, no one wants to see our dirty laundry 🙂  However, I did take some pictures during dinner.

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I love this picture of Lili, although she was very uncomfortable smiling and had been uncomfortable for a few days.  She had two canker sores in her mouth which caused her lips to swell quite a bit.  This made eating and drinking quite difficult.  She had never had such bad canker sores before and I felt terrible for her.  Fortunately, they started getting better the next day.

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Naomi and hubby!  She is quite a cuddle bug and especially loves cuddling with her daddy.

Our day was done and while it wasn’t necessarily an exciting day, I found myself enjoying the RV more and more each day.  Yes, Georgette got a bit crowded with 6 people and 3 dogs, but she was comfortable and cozy.  She felt like home and I went to bed loving our traveling home.