Our Mottos

‎"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
— Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." - Ursula LeGuin

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When Dreams Enter Your Dreams

Even with all the excitement and planning for the move to the new apartment, I do keep looking and dreaming about our life in an RV. I read all the blogs I can and live vicariously through all of them. It does seem, though, that the upcoming move has totally consumed my every waking moment.

So, I find it interesting that for the last two nights I have had vivid dreams that we are living in an RV. You know, the kind that seem so real that when you wake up you aren't sure what is real and what was a dream.

Perhaps it is the universe letting me know that, yes, we will be full timers soon. So, I will continue to dream both in the waking hours and as I sleep at night.

Travel safe!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Step Forward

In yet another step toward our dream of full time RVing, we have found a much smaller apartment. This means that we have to get cracking even harder at getting rid of lots of junk. Since we can't afford to buy an RV yet, we continue to get rid of more stuff and downsize. By the time, we can get the RV, it should be fairly easy to move right in.

I am cautiously excited about the move. Don't get me wrong, I am really excited about the apartment. It has a fireplace, really nice patios, has updated fixtures and its right by the community pool and hot tub. In other words, it is awesome! We have looked at a lot of apartments and this is the best of the best. It just feels right.

There are several reasons we decided to make yet another move. The biggest factor was the extremely high utility bills here. We are paying about the same for utilities that we paid while we were renting the big house with the pool. Granted, this is a fairly large townhouse, but they shouldn't be that high. Poor insulation and very aged equipment, I am sure, are to blame.

Another issue I have is the lack of maintenance here. Broken light fixtures, incomplete landscaping and office staff that have a nonchalant attitude are getting old. I don't get that warm fuzzy feeling that a home should provide. Besides, as we have found, we can get a lot more amenities for less money.

Now, I am one that is usually looking forward and not second guessing my decisions. But for some reason, I have been hedging on which complex to live in. I kept going back and forth on which one would be the best. It was as if I was scared to make a decision. I guess I was just afraid of making a bad choice. After much talking and worrying and more talking, I realized no matter what we choose, it will be the best. And, we are renting, its not like we are stuck with our choice (as all our moves can prove.) We are hoping to be on the road in a year anyway.

So today we went back to the best choice and filled out the paperwork. The other day we had put some money down to be put on a waiting list. We went back today to get measurements and look at the apartment again. We went ahead and filled out the application and started the process.

I am really nervous about getting approval. We filed bankruptcy two years ago and I am always afraid I won't get approved to move in. We make more than enough money and we have never had any late payments, so hopefully there should be no problems. I won't relax, though, until we hear back. Probably the worst case scenario would be that we have to pay more deposit money. It wasn't an issue with this apartment so hopefully there will be no problems. The other issue is all the money needed to move. We have to save lots of money, so we will be living a meager life for a few months.

I think the true reason I am not as excited about this as I normally would be is that there will be one less tenant in the new apartment. It has become very apparent that our 13 year old yellow lab, Mattie, is nearing her end. We can see the deterioration in her health almost daily. I don't want to see her suffer but I am struggling with knowing when the time is right. I know she will let me know when she is ready, I just don't think I am truly ready to listen. It will be a hard decision even though I know she won't be suffering anymore. I am trying not to dwell on the end. I want to enjoy each moment I have left with her.

For now, the best thing I can do is keep busy and continue to purge, purge, purge. Tomorrow, we start tackling the closets and dressers. We will also be selling lots of furniture and other unnecessary items as we go. The purging always makes me feel better. I do not do well with clutter. I love a clean, uncluttered life.

As always, everything works out for the best and happens at the right time. I will go to bed tonight keeping that as my mantra as I fall asleep. I have nothing to complain about. I have an abundant life and for that I am grateful. Abundance will continue and I will continue being thankful.

Travel safe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Interesting Quote

I came across an interesting quote today. I just wanted to share it.

"The world is filled with amazing places to visit. Don't limit yourself to the same destination all the time. Even taking a different road home from the office will broaden your horizons." Loretta LaRoche

Not only is this fitting for travelers, it should be the way we view life. Open your mind and soul to new experiences all the time and you will learn to appreciate life more. I have always felt a connection to all things in nature. The more I learn about all that is in this world, the more I learn to appreciate myself. 

I believe this is the way to true happiness.

Safe travels, everyone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Change Is In The Wind-Or Not

For about a month now we have been thinking about moving again. (I know, it seems we move more than most RVers.) We have lived in Tucson for just under 5 years and we are in our fourth residence. I am not afraid to pick up and try something new if what we are doing isn't working.

There are some positives about where we are. I love the location and the views we have. The patio area is great for the dogs. It is a townhouse and we have lots of room-almost 1300 square feet. And, we really like our next door neighbors. However, there are many more negatives that are making us consider other options.

First, since we moved here, there is a serious safety issue that has never been addressed. There are several outside lights that have not worked causing it to be extremely dark around us. It is a safety issue when we are coming home after dark and cannot see. Who knows whats lurking out there-could be man or beast. When we mentioned it to the management they told us the lights were being replaced. That was 8 months ago. There is no sign of change. In fact, there is another light that is no longer functioning making the situation worse.

Second, we are paying extremely large utility bills, just a little less than what we were paying in the big house with a swimming pool! These apartments are very old and don't seem to be very energy efficient. Not very budget or wallet friendly.

Also, looking around, we could get a much nicer place for less than what we are paying now! In addition, we would have many more amenities and be in a little safer area of town. If we downsize and spend less money, we can save more money to go toward buying an RV. Our lease is up in three months so we have been considering our options. We have been looking at other apartment complexes and really like a few of them. All of them would be cheaper and one option would even allow me to walk to work.

One concern we have is our big dog, Mattie. Most places don't allow big dogs. She is a 70 pound Lab. She is also 14 years old and is definitely showing signs of deteriorating health. I am not sure how much longer she will be around. This is a big factor in deciding what we are going to do.

The best solution would be to go ahead and start our full time RVing. I wish we could, but it would take a miracle for that to happen. (I do believe in miracles and it could happen.) We are not in a financial position to get an RV right now. (Of course, if anyone would like to donate to the cause-we wouldn't turn it down LOL.)  I have been keeping my eyes peeled for something cheap but reliable that we could pay for with cash. Those are hard to find. We are probably unable to qualify for any loans due to filing bankruptcy two years ago. Even if we could get approved, we would probably need a large down payment, which we don't have, and have a very high interest rate causing the payment to be so big we would be financially strapped and limit where we could go. And, I am not sure I would want to start out full timing with that kind of debt. (I do miss the days when I had excellent credit and probably would be able to get a heck of a deal right now.)

So lots of creative thinking going on in this gourd of mine right now. I am not worried about it, I just enjoy looking at all the options and keeping an open mind. Besides, it keeps me occupied and gives me something to do. As always, everything will work out better than I could ever imagine.

Safe travels, everyone!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Same O' Same O'

Not much happening here in Karinland. The weather here is happy with a high pressure joy system blowing in from Contentment.

I am eagerly awaiting my new phone which is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I know as soon as I get it, I will be playing with it for hours. (It might even keep me away from playing on the computer for a bit....we'll see.)

We are in the process of cleaning out the guest closet. It has been fun going through old stuff and getting rid of lots of junk. I came across my camera. We stopped using it when Brenda got her camera. We figured we didn't both need to be taking lots of pictures of the same stuff. I got it out and am charging the batteries. It is a really nice Olympus but it is a bit bulky for carrying around. I bought it to replace the camera I lost in the tornado 8 years ago. It may be a bit old but it has some really nice features on it. At least, we can use it until we replace Brenda's camera next week. We found one we like on Amazon and will order it next week. It is a newer version of her old one with some nice upgrades.

Not much else is new so I will sign off for now.

Safe travels everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Out With The Old, In With The New

I have been wanting and avoiding a smart phone for a long time now. I thought they looked like fun but I really didn't want to pay the big bucks for one and the extra monthly fees for the service. (Sometimes, I am really tight with my money.) I know that when we go to full timing, we are going to want one and there were several times on our trip that I wished I had one.  We wanted to wait until November when Brenda's contract is up and then go with a family plan. I just found out we won't save any money by switching. I also found where I could get a Droid X for free. So, I bite the bullet and ordered it. I should have my new phone on Tuesday.

The other day, the dogs were going unusually crazy at the back door wanting to go out. I went to let them out and saw a very small baby bunny on the patio. I called Brenda over to see it. It was so cute. I told her to get the camera. She did and when she turned it on, the view finder had a really distorted picture with cool psychedelic colors. The pictures came out the same way. We did some research and found that this is a fairly common occurrence in cameras that age. The sad news is, it will cost more to fix it than the camera is worth. Brenda loved that camera and was just learning more about features it had that she never knew about. (To go back a bit, we were able to catch the bunny in a box and set him free with the other bunnies around here roam. That was quite the ordeal that I may write about later.) Anyhow, we found a newer version of her camera with lots of new features, better zoom and more pixels. We ordered a new one from Amazon and it should get here next week.

We spent yesterday going through our guest room closet and getting rid of more junk stuff that we don't need anymore. There is a big pile of stuff to throw away and another big pile of stuff to go to charity. Now, we have to lug it all downstairs and pack it in the car and take it away. It feels good to purge!

We are thinking about moving again. We want to downsize and spend less each month. This is all in preparation for going full time RVing. We keep going to smaller, cheaper places until we get the RV. We found a place that is right next door to where I work. The rent will be about $100 cheaper a month. It is smaller and newer so the utilities should be cheaper as well. And, I could walk to work so we could sell one of the cars and save even more money on insurance and maintainence!!!!! We have about 3 months before our lease is up, so we will continue to research the concept and see what happens.

Safe travels!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Summer Vacation, Part 7

This is the last post about our summer vacation and it is a study in opposites.

For the two nights we were in Hungry Horse, MT, we stayed in a camping cabin at the Mountain Meadow RV Park. It was a beautiful park full of steep hills and lots of trees. Exactly what you would expect from a camping trip. For all our RV friends, it has FHUs and wireless. However, the farther your site is from the office, the less signal you get. And, there are lots of trees so if you have satellite, I don't think you could get a signal. I am not sure how level the sights are either.

Anyhow, the camping cabin was a basic cabin with electricity. We even had a small refrigerator. There was no water in the cabin but there was a spigot just to the side of the cabin. The bathhouse was way down at the bottom of a steep hill. Getting there wasn't too bad, but coming back up was quite the workout.  We decided (being old and of weak bladders) driving was the best way to get there every morning (or during the night when the urge struck us.)

Here are some pictures:

The front of the cabin.
Looking up at it from the road.

Our view!
Interior of the cabin

Really big table.
Loading the small refrigerator.

So after two days of roughing it, we headed out early in the morning. We were driving all the way to Provo, UT before the end of the day. Thirteen hours later, these Beverly Hillbillies check into a Residence Inn in Provo compliments of my brother. It was beautiful and felt luxurious compared to the last two nights. We had a quick dinner then went back to the hotel and took long, hot showers, played on the computer and just marveled at modern conveniences.

The next morning we took our time getting up and had a wonderful complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Very nice spread. We then had a short 6 hour drive to Vegas, the last night of our trip. 

If we thought the Residence Inn was fancy, we were in for a giant surprise. We arrived at the hotel around 1:30 in the afternoon. We left our car with the valet and went inside to check in to our room. WOW was all I could say. So very fancy! Our room wasn't quite ready, so I had the bellhop check our luggage in and we headed to lunch and some exploring. 

After a delicious lunch at Pampas Brazilian Steakhouse, we did some sightseeing. While out, the hotel called and told us our room was ready anytime. Since we were tired, we decided to go back and just relax. The drive from the day before was exhausting and I think we were ready to go home.

The hotel

The view from the kitchen.
The full kitchen !

The dining room table-seating for 6!

A two-headed shower!

The very plush bed with the soaking tub
 Some views from our sightseeing:

The Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan Hotel

A cool restaurant in the Aria

Unique sculpture
Cosmopolitan Hotel 

That evening, we went up to the rooftop bar. WOW again. The views were spectacular. The evening had cooled down and it was very comfortable up there so we ordered some Pina Coladas and watched the sunset.

Me enjoying the view.

The sun is setting
Looking down on the City Center. Love the roof lines.

Brenda enjoying the views.
The lights are coming on.

Love all the lights.

 The next morning we got up and headed home. This was a wonderful trip full of awesome memories. I am so glad we got this opportunity. It really makes me want to travel all the time. I look forward to the day when we are able to be free and come and go as we please.

I hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I enjoyed giving it. 

Stay safe!