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.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

From one toad to another...

Okay, okay... I am over my pity-party on the toad purchase.
Here, as promised, is the picture of the new toad...
While she may not be much to look at, at least she will do all the things we wanted in the new toad.
1. Get us from point A to point B.
2. Haul passengers who need a ride.
3. Give us a bit of room to stretch out and enjoy a longer ride
4. Decent gas mileage
5. Haul more JUNK that we THINK we need on our travels.

Okay, beware, back to whining!
Why can't we leave already? I shouldn't complain since this time in Oklahoma at any given year is usually unbearably hot already but this year is different. This year is rainy and cool - which I LOVE and ADORE.
We will be leaving soon, though. This trip back to the PNWest is a big trip since its our family reunion on my mom's side and my youngest niece's wedding. AND she has asked her favorite auntie to take her wedding photo's! I feel so honored to be such a big part of her day.
So, I am gearing up in my "what to do before we leave" chores and adding a few this year. For instance, clean out the fridge and freezers completely. Pare down our food stored to what I can fit in the RV - just in case the power should fail for weeks on end and we aren't home for months on end.

perhaps I will start with this... until then, have a great Sunday and hope you are having fun on your latest adventure! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

RIbbit! Toad shopping!

It recently came to our attention on our last trip that our little toad was not cutting it for others. Normally I wouldn't care what others thought or wanted in terms of my own stuff, but well, when your momma say's "you need a toad that will be big enough for ME to come along!" you listen and act. So, off we went to find the perfect toad for our coach - per momma's statement.

Our current toad is a 1997 Mazda Miata convertible and I love her. She is a blast to drive, a conversation piece, and so light you never know she's back there until you glance at the backup camera screen or walk to the rear of the coach. She is red. I love her. She has white racing stripes and a chrome roll bar, and I love her. Did I mention I love her?

So, there you have it. I am going from this beauty (on long trips) to a 4 door car. We really wanted a smaller 4 door truck and were going to trade in the big truck but the hubs decided that he loves his truck just as much as I love my Miata. <sigh> Here we go! 
We ended up with a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that matches the coach perfectly but needs to be readied for a tow bar. Mind you, this is an expensive venture to the tune of around 2 grand. So, Don has decided to go with a dolly. Normally, I wouldn't care but the whole point of RVing is to minimize the clutter and a dolly just adds to the stuff one has to store, maintain, and worry about. 
When we get it all worked out and cleaned up (the new/used car), I will post pics. Until then, have a "toadally" great day! 
Your ever worrying about what others think, bloggerette

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lost but so far, not found.

I have several blogs that I try hard to keep up with. Right before we left on our trip to Arizona, I was notified that my domain name needed to be updated for my cooking blog. I put it off and now I am paying for it in more ways than I anticipated.

I was hesitant to update because I was thinking about consolidating all the blogs into one cohesive blog and to cut costs, just use free blogging sites such as this one or Wordpress (where the big blog is). Well, after really researching everything, I chose to go ahead and renew for another 2 years as some of the benefits were worth the extra cost.

After submitting all my information (again) and transferring all my domain and hosting information to one company rather than several, I lost all my data in transition. <sniffle> This is not a HUGE deal since the majority of all the data entry work is also on a hidden blog that was just for personal use; however, all my posts and photo/cooking posts are history and nobody seems to know where they went or even how they got lost.

Bottom line, I am starting over and now I am working on getting a new site up and going. The reason I am posting this information over here, other than to whine and cry on your shoulder, is to let you know that some changes may be occurring here as well.


your aggravated but not giving up bloggerette

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Clean and Fling!

Okay, here goes.

I have to get rid of a lot more junk. This will be round two and while I am anxious to be clutter free, I do love my stuff.

I googled "spring cleaning list" last week so I could compare it with my own list (in my head) and have a printed copy to hand to the dear husband in hopes that he would help. HA HA HA! I know, I am delusional.

At any rate, this is what I found and I LOVE it:

Spring cleaning list

The gal who writes this blog has some really clever and brilliant ideas! I wish I were so brilliant...

Anyway! I have gotten off topic, sorry about that.

Now that I am armed with my list I can get started tomorrow, or the next day... or even the day after.

I am not really looking forward to all the work and what has kept me from being motivated today is knowing that we have some construction repairs planned and why bother cleaning if we are just going to mess it all up with dust, dirt and construction grime again?

Well, I can start sorting through and getting rid of stuff - that will help with the moving stuff to storage project so we can do the repairs without stuff in the way.

Alas, it's time to begin.

your procrastinating bloggerette

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Houston! We have a leak...

What is more annoying than waking up to find your roof leaking? Nothing that I can think of.

Yes, the house is leaking so that gives us a new project on the top of our priority list. Apparently, I failed as a wife to "listen" and my husband has no desire to tear down the house and install an RV pad per my suggestion, so we now have to replace a roof.

Anyway, Happy Easter!

We had a lovely time at church with our kids and then lunch with the grands and their dad. Their mom also made a big boo boo and scheduled lunch with us AND at her mom's house so she went there while Gary came and ate with us. :)

Nevertheless, tomorrow I will be calling for estimates on the roof and starting my spring cleaning job. I found a great list on the internet that I will share with you tomorrow. :D

Your deaf-to-her-husband bloggerette

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Home again!

HI all! We have been home 2 weeks now and life is starting to "settle in" before we uproot ourselves and begin on our journeys again in May. I am excited to get out of town as this trip takes us home to Oregon and to family on my side. 

While we are home here in Oklahoma, Don will be having surgery to repair a cornea separation in his eye from his past cataract surgery. Then hopefully, he will be fitted for his new hearing aides and new glasses. Yay! We had also planned to go camp with our friends but that gathering is the same weekend as his surgery. DRAT! 

Today the kids and I went to my friends new tea room; Magnolia Tea Room here in Bartlesville and oh my! the food was amazing! I am so happy for my friend and I wish her all the success she can handle and then some. So far, it has been a huge hit in our area and the tables are consistently full. 

Then we headed out to "the farm" where my sister-in-law and brother-in-law live. They have cows. I love cows. They also have calves and I love calves even more. I wish I had taken pictures of them. However, I did take pictures of their little charge, Anna. She is just over a year old and constantly going non-stop. 
Miss Anna
Is that not the cutest face? Well, she is a spitfire and reminds me so much of her momma - my niece. 
In other news, God has been at work on the whole sunset scene too. Oh boy! 
Well, that is all I have for you today. Tomorrow is Easter and we are headed to church. He is risen!!! 
Have a blessed Easter Sunday and hug your "peeps" a bit tighter on this Holy day. 

Your faithful Peep-lover-of -cows-and-calves-and-Anna :) 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Oo whats this! I have a blog? Where did I put my blog?

Well, I am hanging my head in shame. I forgot about this blog - life took over and I became so busy with other things like travel, school, cleaning out the house, and 'stuff' that I totally forgot to post and subsequently, forgot this blog.

Yay for do-overs! Just like today is "Good Friday" and a representation of forgiveness, love and sacrifice given by God, and a chance to "do-over" our commitment to Him, I am thankful that I can just pick up where I left off but with renewed faith, and begin again.

So, on my hiatus from Blogger, what have I been up to? Well, we cleaned out the house and got rid of a LOT of stuff. The problem is, when I look at the house again, it is just as full as it was before. So, next week is devoted to "Spring Cleaning" and again, I will purge the house of stuff that I don't need, want, like, wear, and use. Wish me luck!

In addition, school has taken up a good chunk of my time since Walden University had me back to two classes at a time. While regular brick and mortar students (going to a physical college address) might find this comical since they usually attend 4 or more classes a term, for this old lady, 2 was MORE than enough. I am back to one and it is keeping me busy but at least I have time for this blog. :D

Couple that with a maiden voyage trip to Arizona to meet up with my parents, school was a challenge. There were so many distractions flying by me as we went down roads that I often found myself gazing out the window or snapping pictures like crazy. Another challenge was my MiFi setup. I guess it sat too long in the coach because when I went to use it for an assignment and research, it worked half the time.
The first day we arrived in Benson, Arizona, my dad, Don and I headed to Tucson to the ATT store for a new one. We chose to upgrade and I am ever so glad we did. This new one works well and I rarely went without internet - except for the one time that my driver decided to NOT stop at the predesignated location and we were out in the middle of  podunk Arizona with nary a cell tower in range. I was in tears as this was the day to submit my first assignment for a class. That's up there with being late or calling in sick to your first day of work. <sigh> Nevertheless, the truckstop where we did stay, had good internet and I was able to "mooch" off of them.

We are now home and had a great trip with no major drama. We boondocked for a time (little over a week) and got a hands-on lesson on how our coach works, how much power we consume and what we could do and not do in terms of what appliances could run on the batteries (with solar panels) before we had to start the generator.

Home awaited us with over a months worth of mail. Ya know, it really amazes me how much PAPER comes into this house in a months time. All but about 13 pieces was junk mail. I will have to figure out how to get off those mailing lists so when we have the mail forwarded to us in the future, it won't be a pile of junk.

Well, that is about it. Except that another time consumer has entered my life. I have taken the plunge and bought a Mac laptop. Now, mind you, I have been a Windows based gal for years and have only touched a Mac maybe twice to "work on it" and a handful of times in various electronic stores, drooling over the latest in Apple mania.... so, now I am a proud but nervous owner of a Mac and it has been a learning curve to say the least. I have become that adult that calls their child and says "I cant figure out how to operate this thing! WHAT do I DO??!!!" to which she laughs and says "Mom, there are buttons on the the touch pad, you can't see them but they are there. Trust me..." and I try - lo and behold <enter Heavenly music> sure enough! There it is! The 'button' that has kept my progress at a stand still for nearly 2 hours of stress, frustration, panic, and wonderment (also several thoughts of taking the thing back and deeming it "broken!") I will keep you posted on my progress in that area; if I don't up and forget what I just said here.

Okay, so that is the big update (ha, ha, ha!) In April, Don has some cataract repair surgery to contend with and then in May we head to the Pacific Northwest for our yearly trek.

Until then or at least the next post, your forgetful wanderer.