Friday, July 30, 2010

Almost to Marshall, TX.

Wow...have we had fun!  This is so much more than I had ever thought it would be.  I have the best kids ever!  They have been so good about doing things, helping and supporting our every effort this past week.  Our time together has already been memorable. We are doing things together that we would not ever have done had we stayed in our home.  Yesterday we climbed on the monkey bars, and yes, I shocked them when I flipped right up and over and hung there. It was quite funny.  They had this huge tire swing with 6 tires and a large mud puddle, Drake gave us a great show...unfortunately my camera was dead or you would be seeing some very muddy pictures of our boy. 

Rye and I went up to Roswell and had a great Mother/Daughter day.  We visited the museum, gift shops, took pictures and ate lunch at a great rib restaurant named the Rib Cage.  We took a ton of pictures.

The Caverns were a great recommendation.  Our family was in awe of the enormity of some of the rooms.  Isabella was a trooper considering the amount of walking we had to do.  The caves were around 50 degrees and very dark, except for the small lights they had posted around the caves.

The drive today from Carlsbad into TX was short and sweet.  The humidity is outrageous!!  The kids are melting but I assured them they would soon get used to it.  Tomorrow we will be pulling into Marshall and Cory starts work on Monday.  We don't know for how long yet...a week or maybe 4 weeks...we shall see.

I have learned a few things along the way.  I found that it's not always the best policy to make reservations in advance.  The reasons for this are several.  First, we don't always know if we are up to the drive.  Our drive from Durango down to Carlsbad was 10 hours.  The kids about died.  But, I had the reservation already and did not want to cancel.  I am glad that we did not because the RV park was awesome!  The park was very kid friendly and it was a blast from the past.  I felt like I walked back into 1950.  The place was very nostalgic.  Secondly, we have not been disappointed with any place that we have stayed at YET...but we have come across some pretty scary ones and wonder if we should take our chances as we go.

Cory and I both cannot believe how comfortable we are with this life style already.  It feels as though we have been living this way for a while.  Each place that we stop at we have been pleasantly surprised at how nice everyone is.  The families and retired folks love what they are doing, even if it is for a short weekend or a long vacation. These people have spent thousands, if not millions, on their RV's.  The luxury that we have seen is amazing!!  I am sitting here looking at a 5th wheel that is probably 45 feet long and completely "Blinged"out...( I am not sure if that is a word, but I can't think of anything else)...WOW  With that said, I still feel really good about our small and practical travel trailer...I keep saying to myself "It's paid for".......thank goodnes!!!

We are having an amazing time.  Isabella keeps asking when we are going home and we explain to her that the trailer is her home for right now.  I am amazed at the severity of the small towns that we have drove through.  They are literally ghost towns, no people and no businesses.  I have been so isolated in the beautiful hills of Midway that the recession has seemed like a dream for our family, until we started the trek east.  It is scary.  Durango and Abilene have been two of the towns that seem to be alive, the rest were struggling to stay afloat.

I cannot express how lucky I feel being able to have this experience with my family.  I love the moment when you know what you have done is the right thing.  I must go because the as before mentioned motor home is our new neighbor...time to go be neighborly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The best send off...sharing it with the Trommlitz family.

Sherron and Gina

We have known  Ken and Gina for over 15 years.  Rye and Rachel were just wee babies when we met back in Mommath, OR....(are you girls feeling really old yet?...LOL)  Our friendship has remained strong through the years.  Many times Ken and Gina have been great sounding boards and a fantastic support system for Cory and I.  We are so appreciative of their family and of them as a couple.  Their examples have been numerous and we are grateful for their family in our lives.  Friends like these are priceless!!

I am positive that as we leave Utah we will make new friends, but the friends that have stayed close to us will remain in our hearts daily.  We want to hear from our friends as often as possible but we know that our  lives are busy.  The same holds true for us, but I will try to make every effort to stay in touch with everyone through email, texting, facebook and this blog.  We are so fortunate to have so many ways of communicating with friends and family.  We are blessed to have this technology.

Ken and Gina Trommlitz
We are having a great time and enjoying the outdoors.  The stars and moon are so beautiful.  Last night walking back from the shower I commented to Cory that we didn't have this view at home walking the 6 feet from our shower to the bedroom.  We were both enjoying the moment.  It's the little things that are and will make this experience one that we will not forget soon.

Rachel, Ken,Gina, Elizabeth, Adam, Tyler and Isabella had to be in the picture.

Cory bought these huge marshmallows.  The kids loved them!

Rye and Rachel...friends forever.                

Not the best picture of us...We had been working all day at the old house.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pictures FINALLY!

The outside, it's about 30 feet long.  We love the 2 doors, one for the main room and then the second is to our bedroom.

Looking inside from the front door, left side view.

Yes, the moment hast arrived.  I found a few minutes yesterday to take the photos and a few minutes today to post them.   I had visitors yesterday and the RV was clean and organized so it was a perfect time to take the pictures.  Tonight we are hoping to get a picture of our family in front of the trailer.   We finished up the cleaning at the house this afternoon around 3, so we are officially done and on vacation...Hallelujah!  This is short, but who needs words when a picture is worth a 1000,  right? Well, that is what I am going with...ha ha ha .

It does not matter where you are, if your a princess...then you are always a princess!  Can the crown get any bigger?

I love the kitchen, it's big for an RV!   

Looking right from the door.  Our bedroom and bathroom.  We are storing the extra blankets until we hit the warmer weather.  When we get to TX, all of the down comforters will go into a big vacuum sealed bag and stowed away.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today is the day!

Our departure date from the house is 3pm.  I sure hope we get everything done before then, with the house that is.  I am down to one more room to clean and 3 rooms to mop.  YAY!  We will come back tonight to spray out the garage and sweep the basement when it is cooler.  We are having a very warm summer.  Fortunately for those of us in the mountains, we get the cooler evenings.  The nights are wonderful in Midway.

It's hard to believe but all of our stuff fit and we still have room to spare.  I was worried yesterday as we started loading the kitchen that we would not have enough room, but we do.  I have said this before but it all boils down to necessity over wants.  I am sure as we travel we will pick up a few things here and there but the excessive buying and furnishing will stop.  We still joke that this is temporary, but no one knows what our futures hold.

Rye and Drake were both able to have final sleepovers last night with their friends.  I am sure today they will be blurry-eyed and extremely tired but we will have a week to recover from the last 4 months.  I feel like I have run out of time but in all honesty I don't think I could have done this much longer.  I am exhausted.  The good news is that I don't have to drive to a new home and unload it's all gone!  The joys of being mobile are going to out way the ball and chain we have had with our home.  Don't get me wrong, we have loved our home.  We have had some amazing family experiences and fun with family and friends but the constant maintenance and cleaning is not conducive to our family  right now.  With Cory being gone most of the week, it's too much for one Mom to take care of.

I loved my yard, but dreaded the mowing, weeding and watering.  I loved my house, but hated the cleaning, maintenance and general upkeep.  Cory and I both decided that this is not how we want to spend the next 20 years of our lives.  If we are going to be working, we want to use that energy to help people and communities as we travel. We want our kids to understand that serving and giving are two very important aspects of the American dream too.

I have met some amazing people already and we have not even left the valley.  I went to the laundry mat and met two different couples that are full time RVers and it made me so excited.  We had an instant bond because of the life style we had all chosen.  I cannot wait to visit and learn about the people that are making up this "society on wheels".  I am learning that we come from all walks of life, educational backgrounds, religious beliefs, political beliefs, work histories and so on.  My appreciation for diversity is already growing leaps and bounds.

The one thing I am so grateful for is that we did not wait to do this until we retire.  The retired people we have met all have the same story.  You never know who will get sick or die if you wait.  This is so true.  We don't know and why wait.  We have the means, the desire and the health to follow our dream.  Don't let life pass you buy living in the future.  Live now and stay present.  Once you make the decision to move forward with your goal or desire, life has a way of working its self out.  The other thing we learned is having multiple plans is okay.  Just because one plan did not work, doesn't mean all is lost.  We have tried to stay open minded through all of this and it has been a huge blessing to be able to let go and stay flexible.  I have found that sometimes what I want is not necessarily what I need to complete my journey in this life.  There are those two words again!!..LOL

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Final week before we hit the road!

We are down to the wire.  The house is almost empty of all of our possessions.  Today and tomorrow we are having our final estate sale.  It's going along rather well.  It's amazing to me how many of the same people that came last month are our customers for round two.  It's basically the same stuff with a few kitchen items thrown in.  While people are here visiting and buying they are all saying the sames things:

1.  "I really don't need this stuff, but oh well, it's a good deal."
2.  "This is the last thing I need, but I might need it someday."
3.  "Is that the lowest you will take for that?"
4.  "Can I write you a check?"

5.  "This will probably end up in my sale next year."

 I do enjoy visiting with people.  It's fun to talk about out future plans and how excited people get when we explain our plan to them.  I think there are many souls out there that would love to do what we are doing but life holds them back; or maybe it's fear.

Having light conversations with complete strangers is refreshing.   Sometimes I find myself in conversations that turn to deeper subjects, and that for me, is always stimulating and challenging.  I love hearing other people's ideas and thoughts.  For me, this is an enlightening process that reminds me that we are all different and carry different views around in our heads and hearts.   Diversity is what helps us to be less judgmental and accepting.  The less we know about something or someone the easier we find faults or judgments against them.  It's when we listen and learn from them that we can truly understand their views, lifestyles, religious choices , etc....  This is something that I am looking forward to as we travel and visit with the cultures of the United States. Yes i did say that, we as Americans, do have a little bit of culture left in us.  As we have traveled around we have seen this in small degrees.   My desire is to learn more of this. I want our family to experience their foods, festivities, traditions, religious views, etc...

Besides the yard sale we are busy packing the last of the stuff to put into storage, cleaning the house and garage, yard work, getting the kids their passports, finalizing our destination plans, going to Lagoon, and the list is never ending...until next Friday that is.

Next Friday I have reserved us 4 days at a local camp ground on the lake.  This should be fun.  I am hoping that it gives us a few days to really be living in our trailer yet still be close to home if something goes awry or astray...(cat and dog).  Cory will be gone this week and will return Friday morning to an exhausted wife, full trailer and kids that are ready to start!

We can't wait to start our new lifestyle and get things going with our adventure.  My next challenge will be to keep us busy, start school and stay physically fit and mentally sane.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now what am I suppose to do?

Today has been an interesting day.  Our last estate sale is this week and we've had to get everything out to the garage and ready to sell.  This included all electronic devices.  As hard as Cory has tried to hook-up the trailer with every electronic device we own, we still had left over equipment.  We are moving from a 4000 square foot home to a 100 square foot trailer...Yes, we still have the same amount of computers.  I have my Mac, for work of course.  Drake and Rye each have a lap top.  We have Cory's equipment,  plus a set up in the main area.  I joke that our trailer will be glowing as we drive down the road...I am starting to think it may not be a joke anymore. 

With the breaking down of our entertainment system, the kids are forced to figure out what to do.  I love it!  Rye is reading and drawing even more and Drake is revisiting his interest in magic tricks.  The interaction between the kids has slowly returned.  For so long we have each gone to our corners and tuned in to the computer and tuned out the interactions of our family.  I have wanted this to change for a very long time and it looks like it is. 

I read somewhere recently about a family that has already started living the life of a full time RV family and they look at their trailer as their bedroom and the rest of the world as their home.  We will learn to love the outdoors, I hope.  I took the kids to the lake yesterday and it was so peaceful.  I love being outdoors.  I want my kids to understand that they should always respect what has been so beautifully made for them, to learn from nature and to find the joy of experiencing and exploring this planet.  We cannot do this from behind a monitor or TV screen. 

I am just as guilty about over doing the computer at times too.  Living in a place where the winter is so long, I have gotten use to spending way too much time plugged in.  I am hoping that I can also become more in tune with my surroundings.  As much as I love to glance through coffee table books that show case some of the most amazing places in the world, I want to be the one taking the pictures and seeing for myself.  Call me greedy...but, I learn best by reading, touching and appreciating things up close.

I wish I could report on our first destination, but this has not been decided yet.  I am not sure when we will know.  Cory has taken the last week of July as vacation and this will be when we set off and venture up or down.    Up to family and down to Texas.  Texas because Cory has several weeks worth of work in several towns.  We do know that we don't want to be cold in the winter months, which should make for an interesting Christmas season.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lightening and Thunder

Last night was awesome!  Cory and I slept in the trailer and we had an amazing storm in the valley.  We could hear it coming our way and slowly the wind picked up and the tiny droplets of rain fell against the siding.  We opened the windows to enjoy the cool night breeze and the rustling in the trees above our heads.  Within about 10 minutes the rain was a down pour and the noise outside was tremendous.  At one point the whole trailer was  so bright that for a split second you were literally "blinded by the light"; and the noise was could feel the ground shaking and rumbling.  I love being in the elements.  OH the smell of fresh's indescribable how clean and refreshing it feels when inhaled.

Wind makes me feel alive.  Ever since I have seen the movie, Chocolat, I have a fictional understanding that wind brings change and it can definitely be felt in the air.  Wind gives me the feeling of being alive, being free and the longing to throw my arms in the air and run through large fields of flowers.  Yes, I am corny..but to feel such exhilaration and carefree is refreshing.  So many people despise wind.  I remember reading a comment by Erma Bombeck that said if she could relive her life again, she would roll the window down in her car more and let the wind rustle through her hair.  I have held on to this, because life is too short to not enjoy the wonder's made possible by our creator.  In SLC, where air quality is a huge factor, wind is what helps us to have clear days.  It comes in a blows all of the stale, thick air out and leaves behind freshness.  

With one storm under our belt  I think we will not be swept or washed away anytime soon.  We will not be renaming the trailer the "Titanic" or the "Ark" , thank goodness!!  But, we do need to think of a name for our new home.  Ole Blue will not work.  Rye enjoys naming things, so I am sure she can come up with something appropriate.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dutch Ovens

Today the weather is much cooler than it has been, so I decided to re-season the dutch ovens.  I first had to decide which ones to take.  Yes, I am in love with cast iron (sorry Cory.. you will always be my first love, cast iron second).  I am concerned about the weight of our belongings in the trailer and I am trying to be mindful when selecting the tools for the kitchen.  I have tried to switch most of my bowls, measuring cups, melamine or a light weight plastic.  Dutch ovens are not either, or course, so I am faced with the decision of what is necessary and what is wanted...once again!!  I chose my kitchen dutch oven for sure.  This is a dutch oven with no legs and it would fit nicely into my trailer oven and it stacks beautifully on top of my 12 inch with legs.  What is unique about my kitchen dutch oven and makes it special to me is,  I bought it many years ago at an estate sale.  This means it is very old and all of the character of something old makes each dish more appetizing to me.  I often have said I should have been a pioneer.  In some strange way, I feel that this experience will give me a slight insight into their life...with running water and grocery stores, of course.  I love the thought of some one from the past having used it and in some way it connects me to the past. 

The second dutch oven is as stated above, just a standard 12 inch.  This oven works well for small meals, and yet it provides enough height that I can make enough for a crowd.  I love cooking and I know that my experiences on the road will include a lot of cooking for groups of people.  We are hoping to make new friends along the way and eating is always a way of enjoying each others company when you don't feel the need to share your life story with every Tom, Dick or Harry.  I have also chosen a cast iron ebelskiver pan and one skillet.  The ebelskiver's are round pancakes.  This is a dutch tradition and the pan makes it perfect to still have pancakes but not worrying about the huge electric skillet that I used in a "sticks and bricks" home.

One summer in Washington, many years ago, I spent a whole summer cooking with my dutch ovens outside.  It was awesome.  This kept the house cool in the summer and it kept the mess outside.  I learned a lot about using the coals and how to regulate the temperature.  I have not found a recipe that I could not make in a dutch oven.  One of our families favorite is lasagna.  While in WA, our electricity would often go out and I learned to make home made bread in our fireplace with the coals from the wood burning stove.  This was always a treat for our family.

I find that some dutch oven cook books are trying to lend themselves to the gourmet chef.  I like this idea, but it is not always practical when you are camping and are limited on supplies.  I have found that the best and easiest recipes are on the web with general searches.  I am excited to try new recipes and expand my knowledge of techniques and cooking skills needed to become an expert dutch oven cook.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sick Kiddos/packing the trailer

Wow today took forever to pass by!  Rye has the stomach flu and Isabella has a fever.  This is bad enough at home, but now I am envisioning it in a very small place.  Our life will be full of surprises that is for sure!  I am just praying that Drake and I can escape the "flu" bug.  I have been busy putting things in the trailer.  It's so hard to decide what you should take.  In our home we have so many things that are "wants" and things that are "needs".  Trying to decide on the needs is easy: kitchen, clothes, bedding, etc... but the wants are harder.  I want to scrapbook, quilt, play my flute, make jewelry, etc..I just can't take everything with me.  I have limited the kids each to a small tub and so I am trying to do the same thing.  It is amazing how much a person can live without once they put their minds to it.  I have sorted and resorted the rooms too many times to count.  I wish I had a magic wand...LOL  I can't even think about the holiday stuff.  We do not have any where to store that kind of extra stuff.  At Christmas we will have to decorate something small.  I think that we will try to have some of the same traditions and experience just with a different twist.  Change is such an amazing booster.  I wonder how many people who are in a rut, would try to change a few things, and find their lives to be re-energized again.

We are blessed and our life is good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our 2nd home arrived today!

I think the reality of our life is sinking in.  The trailer arrived today.  It is so beautiful!  I found it last night, bought it and then told Cory he should come and see it!  Yes, I am crazy!!! But, after 22 years of marriage I think I know what he likes and does not like.  He was impressed with the trailer.  The decisions of which one, how big, how much to spend, etc....have been overwhelming.  We wanted to pay cash, and we did. We have looked at every type of motor home (class a, b, c, 5th wheel and travel trailer) and decided on the travel trailer for several reasons that fit our family.  The reason's of deciding on this travel trailer were:

1. It gave us more room in the kitchen and living space.  This is important considering we may be in the motor home for inclement weather and I needed a place the kids could stretch out.  The kitchen is huge with lots of storage.  I needed the larger kitchen because I want to cook and not feel like it's too big of a hassle and we should eat out.

2.  The vehicle was a steal.  It is a 2005 and only used 5 times.  The inside is perfect, the price was 3-6 thousand cheaper than it should have been and we have more storage than the class C we looked at.

3.  Having a trailer is allowing us to use our truck that is paid off.  We were looking at having to buy a smaller vehicle to tow behind the larger motor homes.  This is great, considering I have a teenager with a permit.  I just could not see her driving a motor home around to learn to drive.  Call me weird, but I think she is relieved too...LOL

These are just a few of the reason's that persuaded us to go this route.  Every family needs to look at their own situation and decide on a plan that best fits in their budget, life style and long term goals.  I new that when I saw it, I would know if it was right or not.  When I called and had Ted show it to me I was so excited, my heart was pounding and it was the longest 30 minutes waiting for Cory to finish his class so that we could go and look at it...LOL  Drake is convinced I am really weird, yes...I was jumping up and down with the thrill of the ride before us in this very nice trailer.  I will post pictures this weekend.  Rye wants us to all be standing in front.

Now the task before me is figuring out what and what not to take.  It's big, but not "take everything I own" big.  Isabella and I are going to sleep in it tonight.  This should be fun!  The truth of the matter is, the trailer is clean and house is an armpit at the moment...LOL  Moving is so exhausting or maybe it's just that after 17 moves I don't enjoy it anymore.  I am like a kid in a candy shop thinking about the adventure ahead of me and the uncertainty of where we are going next is beyond thrilling.  I have spent so much of my life being organized, calendered, scheduled, and up tight about a lot of stuff; that this is so new and invigorating!  Maybe it's a mid life crisis, but it sure has been fun!

 I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband that feels the same way that I do and that together we can spend this time with our kids doing what we love to do....traveling, exploring, eating and taking time out of the rat race to enjoy the wonders of the world.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Can u read this post...I just got my phone hooked up so that I can text my postings.  This may come in handy for sending pictures and updating if we are in a remote location.  I love technology!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 3rd....Spent with family

Saturday was a great day.  Cory and I slept outside last night...well, we tried to sleep outside.  The moon was so bright and the weather turned very cold...they both made for an uneasy night.  We spent the morning looking at a Class A motor home that was luxury on wheels but when it was all said and done we decided that we would rather have something older and have it paid in full!  Cory and I have both decided that living debt free is a goal that we are trying to keep for our family over the next few years as we travel around.  If we decide after a few years that this is what we want to do longer then we can trade in "Ole Blue" for something newer and larger.  Rye named our 2nd home, primarily because the inside is.......yep! Blue.  This is going to take some getting used to for me.  I don't really own anything blue.  I am a red kind of gal.  I am hoping to get the motor home early enough that I can spend a few days recovering the cushions and headboard.  Later in the day we had a BBQ with Rob, Colette, Amy, Wayne and their families.  We had a very enjoyable time visiting and catching up with each other.  It seems strange that next year we might be somewhere different for the 4th of July.  The past 5 years we have made many memories doing everything from ATVing to tossing eggs.  We have ate some of the best food, and this year was no different.  I tried something new and it was a huge success...potato salad with bacon and jalapeno's!  YUMMY...give it a try and you won't be disappointed.

8-10 potatoes, peeled/cubed/boiled
2 cups of mayo
4-6 sweet pickles, diced
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 T. minced jalapeno
6-8 strips of bacon, crispy and cut into pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Tomorrow we will be lighting off the rest of the purchased fireworks!  The kids are excited to do this.  It has been nice doing something other than packing.  We have a guy coming tomorrow to look at the truck and we will be checking out one final motor  home.  We will post pictures as soon as we decide on the right style, make and model for our family.  I can wait to get it home and to start accessorizing it.  I spent a few minutes last night looking at a few things that I think we need to make it more livable.  One of the best things I found is a screened in room that attaches to our awning.  This will be great for keeping the cat and dog confined, it will give the kids more room to stretch their legs and finally it will keep the bugs at bay.  Who new of all of the cool gadgets that our Ole Blue could get. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

So much to do and not enough time!

Everyday our list gets longer and longer...some days we don't even get to the "list" but are still working hard to accomplish it all in a short amount of time.  I am glad that we finally have a deadline of when we are moving out.  Without this, we would be twiddling our thumbs.   Today we have finished listing more items on, moving stuff to the basement, painting furniture and dealing with Mom's mini breakdown.  Yes, it's life get's me overwhelmed at times and I loose it.  SO, I took myself to sushi and the book store.  It was a much needed break.   I did not hear my families two favorite words the whole time I was gone...Hey and But, followed by Mom.  Don't get me wrong, I dearly love my family, there are just times when silence can be a gift from God.  I was also able to listen to MY music (really loud) with the windows down.  It was great!  Midway is so beautiful at this time of year and driving up Provo Canyon was peaceful and relaxing.  Another day down with a full day ahead tomorrow.  Hopefully it will not be all work.  We have some family time planned which involves BBQ and fireworks.  Cory's hope for next year, is that we will be somewhere in the US where we can use "real" fireworks and not the wimpy ones we are allowed in Utah.  We shall see...LOL

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Last month before we hit the road!

After 4 months of preparations, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have put money down on a class C motorhome (pictures to come) and the house is emptying out.  We are still waiting for our two vehicles to sell and we have one more estate sale organized in about 2 weeks.   I honestly cannot believe that we are actually doing this, it seems surreal at times and overwhelming at others.  The kids have finished with all of their summer camps and are anxious to hit the road too.  We just registered Rye for school and Drake we will do next month.  The high school program is different than the middle school classes.  Isabella is in a constant state of joy and happiness, she doesn't care what we do as long as it involves a park or her toys.  They have all been real troopers over this past few months.  It has been a huge undertaking to organize, price and sell our whole house.  Our to-do list seems like it never stops growing.  I keep telling myself "this time next month..."  I am hoping, at least, that I will be able to slow down a bit and enjoy the outdoors more.  This is short, but time only allows me a short break when the hubby is home.  More details to come of where we will be heading first, we have an idea but want to wait until the time of our departure gets closer.