Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our stuff is like rabbits - it multiplies

Hi all!

Well, I thought I might take a break from my thesis writing to hang out over here and talk about something else besides scholastic "stuff". Okay,  I've not been spending as much time on the scholastic stuff as I should but, well, that is another post.

I have also been hanging out on some Facebook RV pages that we've joined and noticed an influx of people having issues with purging their stuff but most of all, becoming overwhelmed with the task. Here's to you, because we have all been there in one way or another. Perhaps you've moved from a big house to a small house or you've had to move in with someone else, or like us, you are moving into an RV. Either way, we've most likely had to deal with clutter and paring down.

As I suggested to one over burdened poster, one room or section at a time worked well for us. However, I think that if it's possible to move into your RV for a time, it makes the de-cluttering easier since you know what you can store and what you can't. It also puts you in a different mindset and getting rid of things you normally would keep or take for granted, no longer really matter - your focus is on living in an RV and traveling.

We have returned from our summer travels and now we are back into the swing of things; however, it appears that our stuff has been breeding like rabbits. The house looks full and cluttered, again! THAT in itself is depressing but I know it's not possible for stuff to breed so it's just my perception of the view.

Time to start over and get going on getting rid of more stuff.
Here's to keeping the process going... sell... donate... throw away... burn... <sigh>

** this was actually a pile of stuff that we were getting rid of. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back to the grind

Hi Y'all!

I picked up my accent as I walked through the front door yesterday! Did y'all miss me? Is that a bit of a presumptuous question?

Well, we are home from our travels. We thought things were in pretty good shape, except the back yard, until I walked into the laundry room to get some cleaner for my poor island that had a bag of onions left on it to rot (YUCK!). What greeted me was a puddle of water all over the floor and a split hot water heater. <sigh>

That has been replaced as has the defunct push mower for the yard. Good grief, home-ownership sure does make one want to go right back to their RV and LEAVE!

Nevertheless, the projects are getting completed thanks to that really nice driver I have. He is pretty handy with a crescent wrench and a gas can!

Over the next 10 weeks I will be writing but not so much on here (unless it's to gripe and whine). I am in the thesis portion of my masters and will need to focus most of my time on that. I would most certainly rather be doing THIS, but... well, I need to get this project done too.

Thanks for traveling with us here and on Facebook and sorry that I didn't update more often. See ya in late November!


Thursday, September 5, 2013



We arrived at our usual overnight destination, the Walmart parking lot, also known as Camp Wally. We parked, went in, made our usual rounds to gather up groceries and bits, then asked permission to stay. It was rather odd that the parking lot was full of other RV’s at 2 in the afternoon but since a big storm was forecasted for the area, I assumed that was the reason; people don’t like being caught in torrential downpours on the freeway.

Nevertheless, we settle in for the night with some television, reading, texting to friends and family and a brief gaze out the window. What I saw, really to be honest, irritated me. Only because someone once said “to be homeless means you are without a house or shelter. Living in an RV does not make one homeless.” At the time, it made perfect sense and I agreed. This was not, however, my initial thought. My own definition of “homeless” was someone who was not in his or her own house or living quarters, who was dependent on others to shelter them. I guess, there is a similarity to my friend’s statement but yet different feelings about the term homeless were very different.

My short gaze landed on an older Class B (Van chassis with box living quarters) with a hand painted sign that said “Homeless – Family of 5” on it. My first verbal response was “how can you be homeless if you have an RV to live in” but my heart wasn’t truly in that statement. I really wanted to know what was going on with them but by the same token, knew it was none of my business. I am a nosey ol’ broad! At any rate, I went back to my TV show and didn’t give it another thought.

This morning, the family was still there. As I washed my dishes I looked out the window to see the dad sitting in the drivers seat looking dejected and depressed, I recalled a time in which I was in the same position with two small children; albeit, by poor choices and poor planning on our parts. I saw a broken out window in the back that I hadn’t noticed before and the little ones making up their bed with moms help. The more I watched, the more heart broken I became. THEN, I felt the nudge to do something. I stood there and rationalized my own feelings vs. the voice in my head (some would call this the Holy Spirit’s prompting and I am inclined to agree). The more I argued, the stronger the feeling became to do something. So, I abandoned my dishes and went to work. I sorted through our cupboards, loaded up my bags and left them on the table. Don was in the store so I was on my own… I prayed a hand of protection over my being as I sauntered over to the man and asked him if he minded if I shared some of our groceries with him. I think I shocked him… he just sat there with this bewildered look on his face and sputtered. Finally, he quieted and said, “I think that would be okay… I do appreciate your kindness” to which I replied, “You are so very welcome!”

As it turns out, they ARE homeless… and before you ask, NO I did NOT ask! LOL He wanted to show me something. He pulled out his little photo album and showed me pictures of an older Diesel pusher that he was hoping to get for a song. It needed work, but it was more livable than what they were in and it was all set up in a park in Oregon. I knew I liked this guy! He is also a Duck fan but his wife is a graduate of that OTHER school that hosts the Beavers. Oh, sorry, I have ADD. What did concern me, of course, was the cost associated with this rig, but again, none of my business.

At any rate, both are educated and lost their home to foreclosure when they lost their jobs – you know the story and it’s all too common. It is happening all around us and no matter ones good intentions or poor choices, it affects so many more than we realize.

I am glad that I obeyed that voice in my head and heart. It was a blessing to meet this family and it was an honor to serve them. They may not have a brick and stick house anymore, but they have each other, even if it is in a dilapidated old RV with broken out windows.

Don and I are so blessed. We have a home that is paid for; we have intact windows and have more than we will ever need. We also have one another, even if we do want to kill each other at times. Home is where you are with one another and those you care about the most.

Please, look around you and help someone in need. My advice though, follow that voice and it’s leading. Not only will you be the difference in someone else’s life you will be paying it forward and doing the right thing.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I picked up a book at the Goodwill a few days ago that is entitled Travel Writing by L. Peat O'Neil. I love to write, I love to share my thoughts (erratic as they are) and I love to be able to go back and see how much fun we've had over the years.

Since school starts back up for me in a few days and we are headed "home" on Monday, I figured I had better zip through through this book so I could be more in-tuned with what I need to say when writing a blog post.

I got to thinking about this question: What does home really mean? Is home where you hang your hat? Is home where your loved ones are? Is home where we feel the most comfortable? Where IS home, exactly?

Home is two different things. One, where you reside and Two, where you feel ties, roots, and connections.

I have lived in one state all of my childhood and to me, Oregon is and always will be, home. When we moved to Oklahoma, the Sooner state became "home" simply because that is where we raised our two children until they went off to college. Now, we want desperately to go back to Oregon (HOME!) but in the meantime, our RV has become home and wherever that RV sits, that is home.

I cannot explain it really. When we head west, my heart swells at the sight of the mountains with their snowcapped peaks. I want to break out in my own rendition of "...purple mountain majesty!" as we are speeding by "... amber waves of grain..." and when we get far enough to see the foamy waves of the Pacific Ocean, only then can I finish "...from sea to shining sea!" The ocean makes me feel at peace. This is home...

Family is important to me too... without them, home would seem empty and lonely. It appears that many of the Demorest side are moving back to the area where my parents live and they grew up. This makes me so happy because I miss our family gatherings where all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents are in attendance. These days, that is rare in any family but for this family, this is good news!

Where is home for you?

See ya on the road!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We are kind of at a standstill for now. The plan was to be in Kamiah, Idaho this week before we headed back home but with the wildfires burning in that area, decided to stay put. That decision came in handy for a couple of reasons. 1. we are around to help dad build the porch on the rental house and 2. we are available to attend my aunt's retirement party! Yay for retirement!
In other news, I passed my last masters class with flying colors and have started looking at the materials for my thesis program - a whole 12 weeks to write a huge paper and argue my beliefs. THAT should be fun! :)
At any rate, we will be leaving on Monday to head back to Oklahoma. I intend to really focus on several things when I get back but we all know how that goes! Life happens and staying focused is the hard part.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Yeah, We've been busy!

So, obviously we've left sunny Oklahoma! We have been in Oregon for 2 months but in the mean time, this is what was going on.
We traveled across the country staying the night in Pilot truck-stops and eating breakfast at whatever restaurant they had (Dennys, Subway, or the Denny's substitute... cant remember the name!) Lunch and dinner was usually a quickly made sandwich, bowl of soup or junk food. The latter being the most likely.

When we arrived at Mom and Dads Backyard RV park in the Eugene area, we were plum tuckered out, but quickly got busy helping with chores they needed done and getting things on our RV squared away for the next leg of our journey.
Idaho or bust!!!

It is family reunion time on my mom's side so we caravanned with them to Kamiah, Idaho where the 2cd bi-annual family reunion was held. We met with family and friends and had a great time! A little about the park, The Lewis and Clark Resort is under new ownership and now offers home park memberships! We had been looking for a "home park" to buy into so we could get a membership to a club (Coast to Coast, Resorts of Distinction, RPI, etc.). This park, while still being worked on, gave us what we were looking for at a very reasonable cost so we bought it. YAY!!! we have a home park! <happy dance!>
On our way back to Oregon with membership papers in hand and great memories in our hearts, we experienced our very first RV trauma; a flat on the toad. After the kind man followed us out of the last town we traveled through and flagged us down, only to tell us that "you've got a big problem!" did we notice that our toad was missing a tire, a rim, AND was sporting only 2/3rds of the rotor. <insert sobbing> We were out of cell range, my parents were miles ahead of us, and we were stuck on the side of the road. It occurred to us that we would be able to use the spare doughnut (which was nearly flat) to get us into town. Yay for Pendleton, Oregon!!! We were able to get to Les Shwab and get what we needed. Back on the road!
We get home, and the next morning we attended my cousin's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding for sure! Then we were headed off to a star party. If you are not familiar with what a star party is, it is a group of astronomers (pro's and amateurs) that get together with their telescopes and go look at the heavens. Even if you don't have a telescope of your own, you are generally free to come (its free to get in, too!) and look through theirs. This is always grand fun.
In between the star party and July 20th, we planned my dad's surprise 70th b-day party. My uncle and aunt were able to drive in from West Virginia for the event and the party was a smashing success with a "this is your life" kind of atmosphere. Dad was surprised, we all cried and were touched at the love in the room.
Now you know why my blogging had slowed! Phew, I am tired!

Dad's party is over but the party didn't end until everyone went home. Skip and Jolene Nordahl came down for a week and John and Patti were here for 3 weeks in which we went to the coast (Florence, Oregon) and to see the Elk outside of Reedsport, Oregon.... oh what fun!
Next stop, Portland, Oregon to fix an Aunt's car and then to Drain, Oregon to visit "family camp" and "junior camp" respectively (for the denomination I grew up in). It was like old home week to go see my friends from my childhood all in one place!! While there, I went to visit my cousin who lives way out in the "pucker brush" and is my bestest Drain, Oregon Cousin. I've gotta be careful here because I have a best Virgina cousin, a best Hawaii cousin and a best Portland cousin and .... well, you get it.
So, yesterday I returned from my best Drain, Oregon cousins house where we looked at the family tree and then at all my boring vacation pictures. I took her to lunch and then we went to have ice-cream at a popular tourist stop on I-5. Tomorrow I have a class reunion, Sunday we go to Salem to see my other aunt and uncle, then ... well... thats as far ahead as I can think at the moment. I am plum wore out! Oh! Patti and I made plum jam out of dad's plums! Aren't we plum Lucky? <snicker>

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Getting Ready

We should have been gone already but, here we sit. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. I finished up my final for my second to last class and now it's just waiting on the mail to bring things that we need on the road; eyeglasses, textbooks, stuff that needs to be shipped to other locations and if we are lucky, a big fat check! Not likely.
Don is out mowing the yard for the last time until we get home in the fall and I am supposed to be working on the house (I hate coming home to a messy house).

This trip I want to try to plan meals and utilize the coupons I have been hoarding for months. My favorite magazine AllYou always has really good coupons. I have become an APP hoarder on my phone as well, so I can keep up with all the latest deals in the stores that are along our path and coupon matching sites that help me find really good deals and sometimes, free deals.

Anyway, back to the food thing. Other than fuel, food is our biggest travel expense. We tend to eat out a lot, even when we are home. SO this trip, since we have an added payment for the new toad, I wanted to try to cut costs so we can still have fun. I plan to clean out our home freezer and fridge and plan around those items for the first leg and then when we get to where we are going, working on a new menu plan.

Don is a big fan of fountain soda so there will always be the cost of that vs. drinking soda out of a can (there IS a difference); however, I am going to try to go off of soda and start back on my Digest Diet. This means that I will have to take special ingredients and my ninja blender but the good thing, besides losing weight, is that I don't have to buy a bunch of food!

Wish me luck as I get started on these projects.