Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Camping in the cold


This October, Mike and I went to Montana to visit his family and he warned me in advance, that we would have snow while there, but it would melt.  When we downsized and loaded up the camper Mike made sure that we were prepared for any kind of weather condition, IE: a winter coat, boots, thermals, rain coat and rain boots, etc.  Good thing he did, as we did have snow as well as below zero temps for a few days.  When we were at Aunt Betty’s, our hot water tank line froze up overnight when it got to single digits, but thawed out with the warm-up of the day.  We have a fireplace under the TV in the living area and we have a free standing temp control electric heater in the bedroom.  Running those with our propane furnace we were able to keep toasty warm, along with additional clothes and thick blankets.  Mike puts reflectix in the windows to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.  When it did get below zero all the water lines froze so Mike thawed them out with my hair dryer and then blew out the lines to semi winterize the rig until the temperatures were finally above zero.  We were blessed to be staying at my mother-in-law’s to use her shower and cook in her house as needed.

NOTE: We were using the fresh water tank, both at Aunt Betty’s and my mother-in-law’s, so we didn’t need a heated hose.





Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Downsizing


For us to go from a 1,600 square foot house to a 350 square foot 38 foot travel trailer to live our dream of full time RVing and travel America, we had to downsize and downsize big time. 

If you are looking to downsize or even minimize your lifestyle, these are the steps Mike and I took to do it.
  • Change your mind set.  You have to remove emotions from things.
  • Stuff is just stuff.  I know that some of your treasures are treasures of your heart for sentimental reason, but remember it is just stuff. 
  • Don’t let your possessions possess you.  Once I realized that we are working so hard to store our stuff, it was easier to give away or get rid of the stuff.
  • Need vs want.  Do you NEED it or WANT it, know the difference.  You might need 4 – 8 forks, not 20.  How many coffee cups?  Two to four is needed NOT ten.  Instead of books, how about using e-books.
  • More than 1 use.  For example our toaster oven, it is an oven, toaster and broiler.  Multi-functional is key.
  • Have you used it in the last 3 years?  If not, then you don’t need it.  This includes clothes.
  • Ask family and friends first.  See if your family or friends want any of your treasures.  This way you know they are going to a good home.  You can even ask them to hold your treasures until you are ready to take them back.  This helped me give them away.
  • Have a yard sale or advertise online.  Why not let the stuff you no longer need make you some money.
  • Giveaway or donate.  Giving brings joy to others as well as yourself.  Donate to a church rummage sale, Salvation Army, Goodwill, or any other charity.

I hope this was helpful.  Do you have any other suggestions?  If so, put them in the comments below.




Friday, November 29, 2019

Waco, Texas



As a fan of the HGTV hit show, Fixer Upper, you have to visit Magnolia Market Silos when you are only forty minutes from Waco.  Mike and I enjoyed a cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie from the bakery as our first stop, since the line was short.  Then into the store we went.  I am happy to say I didn’t buy it out even though I was tempted.  They have food trucks, picnic tables, swings, lawn, stage, lawn games and a garden to make it an “experience”.  

























We took a shuttle that gave us a history tour of downtown Waco.  Mike and I stopped at the suspension bridge to take a stroll and pictures.  At the market they also have a shuttle that will take you to Magnolia Tables.  We decided to save that for our next visit with my Mother and Aunt.  On our way back to camp we decided to stop at Harp Design Company store and the original Magnolia store on Bosque.  If you are in Waco, a must stop to enjoy.







Thursday, November 28, 2019

Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum


Mike and I visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.  The OKC Memorial and Museum honors those that were killed and survivors of the federal building bombing in April of 1995.  It cost us $15 each for the museum.  You will experience the moments leading up to the bombing, see artifacts from the bombing, listen to survivors and family that lost love ones and see the evidence that lead to the arrest of those involved.




Outside the museum, you will see the memorial… the survival tree, the gates, reflection pool, the field of chairs and the fence of memorial.  Worth the trip! 

Thank you and God bless our first responders.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Moab, Utah


In early November we visited Moab for five days.  November is off-season for Moab, so it was less crowded and the weather was cool but pleasant.  We stayed at OK RV Park about 10 minutes south of town.   We were able to use the Passport America discount since it was off-season and had full hook-ups (50 amp, water and sewer).

I recommend visiting Canyonlands Needles, south of Moab first.  Be sure to fuel up and have plenty of water, since it is far outside town.  This was a half day trip for us.  On the way to Needles, stop and visit Newspaper Rock.  Newspaper Rock is covered by hundreds of petroglyphs—one of the largest, best preserved and easily accessed groups in the Southwest.  Canyonlands Needles has some gravel roads, so drive with care.  Please go to the visiting center first to discuss your plans with a ranger so they can advise on the best views for your level of adventure.  We enjoyed our hike and climb to the Cave Spring.  Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on the paths, so Abby was able to enjoy the car ride and air conditioned car for our short adventures/hikes. 



Then be sure to visit Dead Horse Point on your way to Canyonlands Island in the Sky.  This was $20 entry per car and Abby was able to hike with us.  Dead Horse Point is a state park and has more hiking and biking trails than our current experience.  Island in the Sky is wonderful, be sure to stop at the visiting center to pick-up a map and be advised by the ranger on what to see based on your time and expertise.  Mike and I visited Mesa Arch, Buck Canyon Overlook, and Grand View Point Overlook. 




For a grand finally of your visit, I highly recommend Arches National Park.  Abby stayed home since she was not allowed on hikes and this park was highly populated with visitors.  The round trip through Arches will take you most of the day and cost you $30 per car.  Get there early and pack a picnic lunch, plenty of water and fuel up.  As always, we recommend visiting the visitors center and coordinate plan with a ranger.  Be sure to check out Balancing Rock, Window Arches, Delicate Arch, and Landscape Arch as we did this trip.




We plan to return next year to experience sunset through Delicate Arch, to step our feet in a Dinosaur Track hike, and a fiery furnace hike at Arches National Park; maybe a jeep off-road adventure.

Enjoy your visit to Moab and God bless!