Monday, October 29, 2012

Dang it all!!

Well wishing it so, doesn't make it true....

My ankle is not any better so off I go to the doctor today.  The news isn't all bad....I didn't break my butt!  But I did break my ankle.  The young thing asked me if I have osteoporosis.  Isn't that just about the same as asking me if I'm old!!  They were still not able to cast it as there is still too much swelling but they put molded a splint on it and took away my cane and put me on crutches!   The splint hurts more than hobbling on it with nothing but the cane. And to top that off,  I am certainly an accident waiting to happen on crutches. 

So now I am laying here plotting how I will get the hay to the animals, feeling sorry for myself and again wondering if I will truly be able to take care of my self  here or on the road!!   Guess I sound like a pity party so I think I will call it a night and hope for brighter tomorrow.  Over and Ouch!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

When you own your own Trailer Park... You have all the Fun!

Recently, I had my first garage sale ever.... Maybe my last!  These sad little fellows  were left overs that no one seemed to love.

But I have a new trailer friend and they will fit right in at their own little trailer park that they call Aluminum Acres. Malden, Illinois.  So today I'm packaging up the kids to travel off to there new home.
I know you want to see more soooo here are more pics of their new home. 

First of all meet Ginger where they of course will live.  And you have hit the jackpot... I even have inside pics!

Ginger, a 1959 Shasta

What a fun place to live!  But the fun doesn't end there..... Meet Bob the Burger.

Bob the Burger, a 1958 Hiawatha


   Isn't Bob the Yummiest!

 And one more cutie pie on today's visit.

Walter the Hippie, a 1965 Aristocrat  Lo Liner

Lots of fun... here with Walter!

 Which is your favorite on today's tour?

Somehow I don't thing this will be the last of the fun little trailers to come and live with Julia (Jules) and Norm Busch.  I hope one day to visit these little packages of fun.  Wouldn't you? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Falling Sunset

You know when you the first glimpse the setting sun, and know that it's going to be a butte!  You rush for the camera on a mission for that perfect picture.   Then it is a matter of getting the perfect dimensions with the right accents and colors to balance the picture. I snapped the first of what should have been many pictures waiting for the perfect one.   Then........

One and only sunset pic for the day

I lost my balance and head over tea kettle I went.  Cement stairs are unforgiving.   Since it was awhile before I could breathe or MOVE, I didn't get any more pictures.  Truth be told, I cried.
                                              But I did save the camera!  

              After two days I can walk or should I say hobble on it with a cane.  

Like my fancy cane?

Since one of my approaches to life is to laugh instead of cry.....
I thought you might enjoy this thought for the day.

Careful grooming may take twenty years off a woman's age,
                      but you can't fool a long flight of stairs.

Do you suppose this is a message from the universe to SLOW down a little?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Week Kid-less...and Counting

This weekend I passed a marker.  I have been living kid-less for one week....Time for a few observations.
  • Emotions come and go.  There is no good or bad feelings.  Feelings just are.
  •  I have become fascinated with my new freedom to walk all around my home without unlocking and locking rooms and cupboards to gain entrance.
    I ceremoniously hung up my keys

I had become convinced that I was totally losing my memory.    I think now that I had to many things to remember and way too much stress.   My cell phone is where I left it, and my keys are hanging on the hook.  Money stays in my wallet  All is well.

I am happy to report my memory seems fine.

  •  I am again enjoying working on projects.  I can start when I want and stop when I want (or not).  I have always desired to live this way, but people often think they need to eat at preset times.   
  • I am eating what I want, when I want to and enjoying it.... No more kiddo food for me.  Ok, maybe for grandkids.  This morning I had a piece of cheesecake with my morning coffee.
  • When I woke up this morning, I laid in bed and thought about what I wanted to do for the day... I wasn't filled with dread for what the day would bring, I was filled with excitement.  Yes, some of the chores aren't fun but they bring me closer to my goals.  I am also in charge of when I do these tasks. 

 It will take as long as it takes.   I am more ready every day.  I will be ready.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eating Crow

On a recent blog entry, (We Can Do It), I wrote about the learning curve required to adapt to the Rv lifestyle.  The next day I needed to move my trailer. While backing up the trailer, I backed up carefully and bumped the trailer receiver with the hitch... and you guessed I knocked it off the trailer block. While I raised it to the limit, it was not tall enough to raise onto the hitch.  As much as I hated to admit defeat I sought help from my neighbor who brought over a portable jack that would operate on the soft ground.  After a few moments the trailer was again safely on the hitch parked in the driveway.  No great tragedy, no damage done, just wounded pride.

On the learning curve for today, I learned that I should put a wheel attachment onto my hitch that will extend the height avoiding repeating this fiasco in the future.  I also learned I need to have a jack that I am familiar with, can access readily and can easily use.  (Even my neighbor was unfamiliar with my hitch and we wouldn't have been able to access my tire from under my truck had it been needed.)  The important lesson here is I need to be familiar enough to take care of these problems on my own.      

It does bring a question to mind.  What else don't I know?   What else will I screw up?   While I know that my problem solving skills are good,  how will I use those skills in unfamiliar territory?

Sorry no pictures today.  My pride wouldn't allow it!
I will admit my confidence is a bit shaken.   

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What to do with the Family Pictures?

I have a bazillion pictures.  I have all the photos I have ever taken...many that have never made it to photo albums.   I have all the family photo albums that my mother put together.  Together these photo albums take up about 8 feet of shelf .  I also have file upon file of pictures stored on my computer....and now somewhere on a Piccasa cloud!

Socks agrees," Whatever are you going to do with all those pictures?"

Clearly they all will not fit in my little Lolita.  Nor do I wish to scan all the pictures into a digital format.  So I am forming a plan.... 

I have found 4 plastic containers to sort pictures into representing 4 phases of my family life.  
  • The Ancestor Years consisting of my extended family of grandparents, parents and my growing up years in one container .   
  • The Early Years container will hold the memories of married life and young children.  
  • The Middle Solo Years, container holding the memories of the girls growing up and the boys early years.  
  • The Later Years (or the prolific years- way to many pictures!) holding the memories of the Campbell Corral (a fulfillment of a lifetime dream of a therapeutic foster family home raising troubled kids on a mini farm/ranch.)                   

Next is a sentimental stroll down memory's lane, as I begin sorting all the loose pictures first.  I will need to breakdown the photo albums too, at least choosing the pictures that need to be scanned to represent the best and diversity of pictures and memories.  Clearly this represents a huge amount of work.  Sorting will need to be completed prior to hitting the road so a scanner will probably be in my future on the road. (How small are scanners today?)  It certainly sounds like great rainy day activities.  I will have the luxury of storing some of the family treasures and pictures with family, so I can take a container at a time with me on the road and work on scanning and organizing the photo's into digital books. I hope that this will represent to my family, a strong connection to their past in a concise format.  (Unless someone wants to store the whole library of photo history.... soon it could occupy it's own museum!)

So in the mean time, my evening are spent watching TV and sorting pictures into bins.  I will then scan them as time allows and give hard copies to the lucky individuals who were in the pictures.  They get to do with them as they wish.

This is my contribution to the preservation of our family history.
Whew, I'm tired already.

Each of you as full timers has had to deal with the family pictures and albums.  What were your solutions. Are you satisfied with your results?  What would you do differently?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We Can Do It!!

I lively discusion on RVSue's blog yesterday started me thinking.  (Here is the blog if you want to check it out) 

Men were not born with the innate ability to back up trailers.  They learned the skills.  But first they believed that they could learn.  Other people in their life empowered that belief.

Solo woman travelers the world over probably share some personality traits such as strength of resolve,  resiliency and the belief that  WE CAN DO IT!  

Clearly, we all have a learning curve when we are doing something new.  That we feel fear is natural.  That we walk through the fear takes determination and problem solving skills that come from experience.  Experience and a continuing belief in myself has given me many tools to embrace my new life.

One of the best 'tools I ever used when traveling is a check list to make sure everything is completed before take off.  I had it laminated and it is along the seat with other navigation tools such as maps.  Whenever I have made a mistake and caused a problem it was because I didn't use the checklist.   It also brings me peace of mind that I have done everything to prepare for take off and landing.  After all NASA uses checklists.

My first trip solo to a women's' camping event caused enormous fear about my ability to back up my trailer into a spot with an audience.  Here is what another camper had to say about my entrance....

This newbie came flying in on Saturday afternoon and stopped and introduced herself…Karen with a Bichon too….same names and same dogs!  I love her back porch and the fact that she drove in with the wind chime still intact, hanging on the top of her trailer!
                  The Vintage Bag Lady: Sisters on the Fly on the Spokane River

You may have noted from her comments, I failed to use the checklist..... I didn't take down the 'artwork'.
Yes, I make mistakes.  But I learn.    WE CAN DO IT!

As far as backing up to the trailer and hooking up, my biggest issue had to do with cranking the trailer up and down since I broke my back 2 1/2 years ago.  I was considering a battery/electric hitch but discovered WD-40 fixed it right up.  This gal doesn't go anywhere without that and duct tape!   For me, backing up is 1/3 state of mind and 2/3 practice.
Some people crumble under pressure.... others preform at their best.
I am one of the later.
I backed into my spot, first try, no problem.

Which brings me to the most important tool, my state of mind. I am a firm believer of the saying ...If you believe you can't, you are Right!    I grew up in the fifties before the woman's movement allowed women to make choices about their own lives.  Young uns find it difficult to believe that  men and women grew up to fulfill predetermined  roles and that was the way it was.  I found myself at an early age accepting the limitations that roles dictated to me and the voice chanted in my own subconscious   Years later it occurred to me that if I continued repeat the chant in my own head, my life would be filled with NO'S.  Instead I choose to fill my life with YES'S. WE CAN DO IT

Getting ready for this move into full time RVing sets me on a new learning curve. Yes, I feel fear and I am learning many new lessons along the way.   Some time ago I picked up the lunch box which  remembers the Women's World War Motto.....  WE CAN DO IT!!   I recently started filling my box with positive statements, affirmations and lesson's learned.

Now when I am feeling fearful, I read the statements of positive thoughts and accomplishments.  As best sang by Helen Reddy,
I am Strong, I am Woman, Hear me Roar!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

This has been one ONE incredibly eventful week. 

  •  I held my first ever garage sale
  • Said goodbye to one of my wonderful horses
    Visiting Shadow at his new home
  • Painted the outside of my little trailer   (I'll do another post to show you the progress of Lolita's new 'clothes'.
  •  And now my last foster kiddo left (not in a good way).  This is not how I imagined saying goodbye to a little guy although troubled,  has been a huge part of my life for four years.  
    This is not how I imagined ending my 38 year career as a foster parent.   
    My emotions are all over the chart.   I am vacillating between tears of loss and giddy with impending freedom.   And oh my, the work the still needs to be done is mind numbing.   Lordy,  I'm not sure I am ready for all the changes that full - timing will bring!!  But yet they keep on coming.  I'm beginning to feel like a proverbial snowball gathering speed as it rolls down the hill.  
    I am pouring out my heart to you that reader of this blog as a way to document the process I am going through and seek support from those who have walked the path I am on.  I made a promise to myself as I started to blog to keep it real.  No glossing over the hard parts.  No glamorizing the difficulties.  You have all been incredibly supportive as I move through this process.  I can't tell you how much this has meant to me.

So there you have it.... the good, the bad and the ugly.    


Friday, October 12, 2012

The Plays and Days of Fall

 Nothing is as stimulating to your senses as a crisp fall day.

Blazing Colors

The gatherings

The sounds of laughing children

The Smells


The Fun!
               Drink in fleeting the moments of Autumn.  It never lasts long enough.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Garage Sale Chaos

Today I finished my first ever Garage Sale.  I can't tell you exactly how I managed to get to my age without EVER having held one before but this was really the first.  I have never liked going to garage sales pawing through other peoples stuff.  I certainly could not imagine having people pawing through my treasures.  Many of you, my readers have told me how freeing it is to let go of all of the things that have accumulated in my life.
I must confess, I remained an unbeliever.
So I approached doing a garage sale with apprehension.
 How did I ever get so much stuff!!
  •  Maybe it has been my need to keep everything, as I might need it someday. 
  • Maybe it started after I was divorced when I became convinced that I would never have enough money to take care of myself.  
  • Maybe it was due my buying into the worlds view of commercialism and the need to have the next best thing.  
  • Maybe it's been due to my ability to sentimentalize objects therefore making it impossible to part with them.    
  • Maybe it is all of the above and more.....
 Help me do the math..... 1, 5 bedroom house , 1 double car garage, 1 barn,  2 outbuildings + One very small travel trailer = chaos.
One thing became glaringly clear.... I couldn't take it all with me full timing.

The calm before the storm

Well, that is what brought me to preparing for this garage sale.  For two days my two helpers and I drug out a lifetime of  accumulated treasures (well, mostly junk).  Mostly we formed two piles, a garage sale pile and a dump pile.   One helper became the master sales person.   (It worked out so much better thr that person was not me!)   She did an awesome job!!  I became the mistro, "Take that, away with that, Out it goes to the dump pile"  We worked so fast that sometimes I didn't even have time to think about each decision but still I made them.

We sold two large items, but mostly the sales were smaller items that added up to a big payday in the end.

Did I forget to mention that with all the best intentions, I forgot to take any picture during the sale???

I remember a line out of the play and movie "The Miracle Worker" where Annie Sullivan was teaching Helen Keller table manners.  The dining room was totally destroyed but Annie calmly stated, "but she folded her napkin."   I can certainly identify.  There is not a clean space any where in the house or garage.
But this sale is done.
The next sale will be the barn sale..... Then the moving sale.... Then I am done.... except for the trips to the dump and donation centers.
Whew.... I am tired!!!

I found a wonderful article on downsizing your home to an RV.... If you are considering full timing, this is a must read!!

Well that is it... till the next sale.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thar is Smoke in the Air


                             When you live in the West

It comes as no surprise ....

Thar is Smoke in the Air


    It does make for beautiful sunsets

                              Of endless color and composition

  At the very best time of day.....

Spectacular untouched color

Finally, the smoke is beginning to clear, but until then,

Taken by my friend Cher Kepka


  I think I shall organize the whole day to be available for the splendor of sunsets.   


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meet my Lolita

                This is my Lolita.
Check out my back door view!

I love Lolita and the freedom that comes with Lolita. She may not be my forever home on the road but for today, She is sweet.

Her body is a mere 13 ft long but the back door entry  and open floor plan makes her feel bigger inside.

I have looked at lots of trailers that are bigger, have more conveniences that I think I want.  But  the truth of the matter is, I haven't found any that I have liked better.  But still I look.  I look and find the 'perfect' trailer until I discover they are not so perfect (or sold).  But until I find that trailer she is my girl.

 Come on in and check her out!

I prefer the bed set up for impromptu naps

A tray set up for dinner is perfect

                                               We have even celebrated holidays in Lolita...

Ok..... I admit it,  I want a little of the luxury of modern trailers but I also want the charm and uniqueness of vintage. I definitely want a refrigerator. I have already added a microwave.  So I guess time will tell.  Will charm win out or convenience.  One thing is certain.  If my house sells, I will definitely hit the road with Lolita..  After all she has the old shoe comfort of home and after all she is mine (and she is paid for!)

Don't you love a good mystery?

What have you found you must have and what can you live without?