Friday, July 18, 2014

Too tired to blog...

Just a quickie to let friends know, all is good. Just too tired to blog.
Things are going very well with the new house. I'm more happy everyday with our decision.
Just so sore and tired from moving and fencing.
I have gone from a sedentary RV life to working around our property.
Just walking up and down the hallway all day is at least 20x's more activity than living in the RV.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Last day :(

July 14 - 15, 2014
We are once again home owners. The big difference this time is that we are NOT house poor, we are not working, we do NOT have high taxes, we cannot see our neighbors and we are NOT IN NEW JERSEY!
We had a bit of a stressful time yesterday.
While RV'ing we have had a Capital One 360 internet only checking account (formerly ING). This has served us well. We pull money out via an "All Points" ATM. If we need to make a deposit, we took a photo of the check or mailed it in. We also still have an account in a regular bank in NJ. With on line banking, this has not been an issue. We have transferred money to and from these accounts from all over the USA. No problems, until this past Friday.
I made sure to plan ahead for the settlement money for the closing of the house.  Taking into account the weekend, it should be delivered Monday morning. Our closing is Tuesday. All's good. Since the only way to do this was through a cashier's check overnighted, I made sure we had sufficient time to have the money by closing. In fact, the money would be received the day before closing.
I receive an email from Capital One stating the cashier's check has been sent out overnight delivery on Friday 7/11 & UPS tracking # included. I am to receive an email when the package is delivered.
Monday was our last travel day from KY to TN. After arriving and setting up, I settle down to check email and make sure the check was delivered. Hmmm, no notification. I go to the UPS site and check the tracking #. 9:30am tracking registered. 1pm tracking voided!!!!!What???? I go to my on line account to see if the money was withdrawn and I'm locked out & my account is frozen! it is 3:30 in the afternoon. I call the bank, and explain the situation and then sort of yell that this is not my fault and I need the money by tomorrow. Someone messed up. I was never sent an email stating the cashier's check was cancelled, nor did I receive a phone call. And yes, I checked my spam folder.
The bank decided that this was too large amount to transfer when my transfer address was not from my home address computer. Well, duh! I've been transferring money from around the country for three years without issue.
OK, I'll make a long story short. An exception had to be made and they agreed to wire the money to the closing bank in the morning (too late today). They could not guarantee receipt until 5pm. It could get there sooner, but no guarantee. I call Amy at the closing office for the info for transfer. She was so sweet and said no worries, the bank is next door and the money will be there. Amy was just wonderful.
And yes, the money was there bright and early in the morning! All is good. We now have a house again with a dream piece of property.

I'm about to cry! 
I really do want to have a house with a real kitchen. 
I'm looking forward to our covered porch.
I'm happy our dogs will now have space to run.
I'm happy I won't have to pack up my laundry and save quarters for the laundromat.
But do I REALLY want to settle down??? I've got to do some soul searching and go through the stages of grief. We will no longer have the freedom of the road. Even if we travel, we still have the responsibility of the house. Is it ok? Is the lawn being mowed? Is the house being broken into?
I hope I will learn to enjoy the most of both worlds. 
We researched for 6 years about eventually living the RV Full time lifestyle. We waited for retirement,we purged, we sold our house in NJ (yeah!!!!). Our 3 years of RV/FT has flown by!!!! We "could" continue, but then I could see myself thinking of staying put more often and wanting a larger kitchen.
RV'ing has made me very lazy. I would only go hiking during the most optimal weather conditions, which is low humidity, not over 80°, not too steep, and so on. 
I very rarely cook. Only 1 person at a time in the kitchen. Scott is the main cook. I spent many hours in the RV and the only change of scenery was from the living room to the bedroom and if  "perfect" weather, I'd sit outside. A lot of sitting doing computer work, a lot of sitting while crafting. We lost our enthusiasm for sightseeing. We spent too much time in the SouthWest. We had a terrible Winter stuck in the RV trying to stay cozy and not stir crazy. Constant moving causes constant repairs needed. 
It's time to settle down for a while. As I've said before, we are young enough that in 5 - 10 years, we may do this all over again with renewed enthusiasm!
With all the reasons we're settling down, I still feel a let down. All the years of dreaming, all the years of planning, all the years of waiting and finally living the RV Full time dream come true, and now it's over. 
We hope, if I can keep my foster dog numbers under control to see the Upper Peninsula in the Summer of 2015. By then, we'll be comfortable in the house, know our home town area and may feel comfortable enough to leave our home in the care of neighbors. Time will tell. 
Tonight is our last night as RV Full timers. We are no longer part of that special group. Sigh. What will I blog about? 
Thank you fellow RV'rs for following us in our travels.
Murder at Pride Lodge: A Kyle Callahan MysteryMurder at Pride Lodge: A Kyle Callahan Mystery by Mark McNease
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once I got passed the surprise and acceptance that this is a gay based book, I really enjoyed this murder mystery.
Don't be put off by the gay pride reference in the title. This book is not about gay rights, or flamboyant gay exhibitionist. This is a murder mystery. The references to gay couples are just matter of fact, no hot sex scenes. I easily accepted the characters and liked the character development. Now that we are past that, let's talk about the murder mystery. I enjoyed the twists and the who done it possibilities. Only a couple of items that were unrealistic. A body is found at the bottom of an empty pool. The person was a recovering alcoholic. For a good part of the book, everyone is questioning whether the person had a relapse and killed himself. On and on, the question was brought up. In any unusual death, an autopsy would be performed with bloodwork. That drinking or not drinking question should have been resolved quickly by a test for blood alcohol level.
Being brought up in NJ and visiting New Hope, PA often, I could imagine this lovely B&B as a wonderful, romantic weekend away. I will most likely read the next book in this series. It solved the murder, but definitely had a open ending for curiosity of what is to come.

Whiskey Rebellion (An Addison Holmes Mystery #1)Whiskey Rebellion by Liliana Hart
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Thank goodness this was free. I just couldn't finish. This story caught my interest from the first page...drama and humor combined. The story line was really good and I really wanted to find out what happened, but I CAN'T STAND THE MAIN CHARACTER, ADDISON!!!!!
Oh my gosh, what a DITZ, an airhead, so irritating!!! I have no patience for a person that causes their own trouble. And Addison is a high school teacher????
She breaks the rules and wonders why she gets into trouble?
She takes a 2nd job as a stripper and wonders how word gets out in this small town.
She eats a banana split while driving through morning traffic. Not a cone you can eat with one hand, a banana split, that takes a utensil. She cuts people off, almost gets into an accident.
She can't keep promises or secrets. Ugh! Steer clear of this immature 30 yr old. She sounds like a high school student herself and even then an immature high school student.
If the author had just toned down Addison's antics, I would have really enjoyed the book. A little bit of a klutz or airhead is fine, but one right after the other and her inability to understand why things happen to her was just too much.
As I was reading, I said to myself, oh no, here it comes. I can see another mini disaster about to happen because Addison will make the wrong aka STUPID decision. If she does, I'm done with this book. She did. It was very anti-climatic to only be able to delete this book off my Kindle. If this was a paperback, I would have enjoyed tearing it apart in the same childish manner of Addison.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Get real!

June 2 - 15, 2014
I've been looking at a lot of DIY, organizing, decorating blogs by women that seem to either have too much time on their hands, or have the "luxury" of being staying at home Moms and can make time for all the things working Moms can't, or they are overachievers and will burn out from everything having to be perfect.
The consistent thing I observe on the majority of these blogs is the perfection of what they post. Their DIY's are done in easy step by steps, hubby jumps in to help. They're kitchen is always clean, their floors dust bunny free. Then to top it all off, their DIY's are color coordinated. Give me a break. Get real! Do we have matching storage containers in our pantries? Do we have a bouquet of flowers that match the bowl of lemons in a bowl on our counter? Are our clothes hung according to colors in our closets? Really?
Oh come on! Get real!!!!! Is this how gardening equipment looks in real life? A Pink handled prong thing, matches the pink, turquoise and yellow flowered trowel, that matches the teal, turquoise and yellow dust brush.
Oh, and yes, my linen closet has only white and avocado green linens in it to match the avocado green storage boxes. When did avocado green come back in style??
I am still a full timer, but I am now also calling myself a short timer. I would not trade our 3 years on the road for anything!!!!!!!!
I highly recommend full time RV'ing! It is a great way to purge your house. Purging is very difficult and a lot of work. Oh the stuff we accumulate...because we can! F/T RV'ing forces you to purge. Whatever you don't get rid of, you either have to haul with you or pay for storage. Our storage unit is 15' x 5' and costs us about $90. per month x 36 months = $3240.00. Is the stuff we stored worth that much? Well, the motorcycle is, or almost. But the other things? Nope.
What have we in storage?
My motorcycle, which I look forward to getting road ready again and riding the rolling, curving roads of Tennessee.
Craft items: Even though I purged and purged and purged, I still have a load of fabric and yarn. I scanned into the computer, most of my craft books. I gave away crafts that were "someday" I'll try this.
Lots of doggie stuff: We'll always have dogs and I believe I'll always be involved in dog rescue somehow. So yes, I have a crate, an xpen, a canvas crate, lots of harnesses, a doggie cart (wheelchair), display grids in case I ever set up a tent for rescue fundraising and awareness again.
Telescope that I bought Scott when we were still exchanging Christmas gifts. Maybe we'll actually get to use it, since it can stay out and set up on our covered porch!
Ski equipment: Hmmm, that is difficult. I really don't see us skiing anymore. If we had moved to W. Virgina, then maybe, but who knows how far the nearest ski resort is. That is a difficult one to give up.
Clothes: We took the minimum with us on our RV adventure. *Note: Take less warm weather clothing. I took about 6 sweatshirts which take up a lot of room in an RV. I would have been fine with 2 or 3, even through the cold Winter we experienced, we layered. When we went outside to walk the dogs, we'd throw on a sweatshirt and sweater and then our 3 season jacket. Gloves, hat and gator/cowl were essential. That made the difference between being cold and being comfortable in 30° weather.  So in storage, we have Winter coats, long sleeved t-shirts and lots of sweatshirts.
It will be fun to empty the storage and see what things we forgot about, or what items we'll be able to use again.
I'm trying to make a list of the good and bad of F/T RV'ing and the things I miss while RV'ing and while living in a house.
Already, I'm missing the get up and go freedom of RV'ing. But, since we are not as excited about sightseeing as we were 3 years ago, our daily activity has definitely slowed to an almost standstill. What do we do with ourselves while living in an RV if we aren't sightseeing? I am NEVER BORED. But I do feel somewhat guilty just cruising the net and reading and crafting. Poof! The day is gone and it was all ME TIME! That is true retirement.
Moving back into a house is a little more responsibility, but not too much. We have enough in savings to have just a minimal mortgage to keep our credit good without having to worry about meeting our month bills. I'll be very curious to see how our bills compare to RV'ing. We did not budget during RV'ing. Traveling is a money eater. The gas for 1 day's travel is at least $100. So every day of travel is times $100. plus cost of your site. That adds up. Now we will have a mortgage that the monthly payment will be less than 2 weeks in an RV park. Minus the $100. gas for travel. We'll be able to buy groceries on sale and with coupons.
This is another whole different way of life for us. I have never lived in a house with acreage and privacy and also not the commitment of working full time. Will Scott mow the lawn on his own, instead of having to be nagged? Will I once again enjoy gardening, since I am not working?
I am just as or maybe even more excited about furnishing and decorating the porch! As long as the weather cooperates, the porch is where I will spend most of my time. I plan to fill the porch with a lot of quirky, whimsical things. We have a LARGE AND WIDE wrap around porch. Oh the many uses for this space! A hammock to take naps in...a swinging bench to read in....lots of pillows & afghans to make it all comfy. A rocker to enjoy my morning coffee and my evening cocktail outside overlooking our very own woods, with no neighbors to have to acknowledge. I have NEVER lived on property that the neighbors could not be seen. Yep, I'm getting excited to have our own PRIVATE piece of heaven.
We have taken the conservative road meaning, our house is only 1500 square feet, even though our property is 7 acres, it is mostly maintenance free woodland. We want the roominess of a house, the privacy of the land, but not be overwhelmed. I think this house and property has accomplished that.
I do sometimes wish I was more of a risk taker. We could have gone higher in a purchase price and had a beautiful modern kitchen, large showcase home, but in the end, we are simple folk. I don't want a showcase house. I want a home, that I am comfortable in and don't resent because of the high mortgage and upkeep. So yep, we took the safe road again. A little disappointing, but in the end, because of our conservative spending we have been able to retire at 53/55, full time before some people even get to retire and buy a house after seeing much of the country before we hit 60! We could do this all over again in 10 years. Life is good.

Information overload!
Maybe we shouldn't move back into a house. I am spending hours on Pinterest see all kinds of ideas. Will I actually renew my love of woodworking now that I have the room to do it? In our old house, I used an extra bedroom to do my woodworking. Very cramped and storing the wood was a problem. I just found a site that links to the 50 best woodworking blogs (in his opinion). I'm either in heaven or hell with all the possibilities or trying to do too much. Oh the simple life of an RV'r. No room for woodworking and tools. Just enough room for yarn, kindle, 2 dogs and hubby.
Scott's been having trouble sleeping because he is thinking of all the things to do when we move in. Luckily nothing is essential, but if we have the land and space, let's use it.
What's on our minds...
Fencing: We have the privacy and land, so why have to walk the dogs? If we have a fence it's win/win. We win because we can just let the dogs out without having to venture into he elements. The dogs win because they can run free and do their business at will.
Aquarium: Scott wants it, I don't. Marriage is full of compromises. He doesn't ask for much, so I'll give in to this.
Woodworking: This is a big one. We have 3 huge garages. My mind says I want to make things, but in reality,do I? Did I get frustrated before because of lack of space?
Decorating: Since the walls are pine planking, there is no painting to do, but yet I want to make our house our HOME. I'm getting overwhelmed at how to decorate. Rustic? Subtle wood tones? A splash of bright? Clean lines or overstuffed? I've got to make sure I don't fill the how with "stuff". I want to bring items in that have a purpose, or better yet, more than one purpose. I want to try to keep as many items off the floor as possible for easy cleaning.
Yard & Garden: Currently the lawn is a clean 2 acres. No flowers, no vegetable garden. Nice and clean and easy care. Do I really want to make work for myself by having to tend a flower garden? Oh but I LOVE flowers! Do I want to till & weed a vegetable garden? Well, I've already bought mint and pepper plants. I'm looking at container gardening, vertical gardening and raised gardening, so all are kept neat in their own areas.
Fostering: We will have the room and time now to foster dogs. But that sure is a responsiblity. Ya never know what your'e gonna git! Shhh, don't tell Scott...I've already committed to taking in two English Setters that have been in foster care way too long. I hope to re-evaluate and get them adopted!
Cooking: Even cooking has come into play with moving into a house. I don't bother cooking in the RV. But with the house, I'll have a larger pantry, a freezer to store leftovers, etc.
RV life is definitely a simpler life. I'll be very curious how both Scott & I react once we move in. Will we dive head first and start our projects or will we just sit in our hammock (temporary sofa in living room), relax on our air mattress (temporary bed in the bedroom), sit in our lawn chairs (temporary easy chairs in the living room), eat dinner on TV trays (temporary dining room table)...oh wait, we ALWAYS eat on TV trays whether in a house or an RV.
Our minds are whirring!
Wow! I impressed myself! I finished this project in 3 days!
Irish Sea Shawl is actually a short poncho. This is a nice little accessory to cover a plain tee.
This was not the right yarn for this project. The thickness of Noro Kureyon was very inconsistent. I was drawn in by the color changing. I'm still happy with it. It will make a nice casual throw over a top.
Kindle Free
Treasures of the North (Yukon Quest Book #1)Treasures of the North by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice historical romantic adventure. A genteel woman being forced into marriage with a vengeful man. She finally makes a decision instead of letting others lead her along. And so the adventure begins.
This was a free Kindle book and the first in a series.
The book is somewhat of a cliffhanger and I'm curious what is going to happen, but not enough to put up with all the religious teachings. This is definitely religious book. I was able to skip over many pages of characters praying for God's guidance. The author is also slipping in how to ask Jesus into your heart, blah, blah, blah. Skip over, skip over, skip over. So, even though the characters were well developed and I like the basic story, I will not be reading the rest of the series. I've had enough of sermons.

Virgin River (Virgin River, #1)Virgin River by Robyn Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sweet! This is a book you read when you want an easy happy-go-lucky, Mayberry type story. Maybe this should be in the fantasy section instead of romance, since I don't think towns like Virgin River can exist, with everyone getting along, a bar with a generous owner comping drinks and food often & being gorgeous and a gentleman too!
Kind of hokey, as one reviewer stated. But if you want a vacation from the murder mysteries, paranormal, etc., take a break with this feel good, G rated romance.

Our Travels