These are crazy times

I wish I had kept up with this over the past few months, and now here we are, about to head back to Illinois after our winter down here in Florida.

This period of quarantine at home due to Covid-19 would have been a perfect time to be blogging, and perhaps I will.

I have been getting a lot of reading done these past few months; tried new recipes in my Ninja Foodi and really have just relaxed and enjoyed life.

Now we’ve all got extra stress added to our lives and that frankly stinks, but I’m good at this whole isolation thing. It’s paradise for introverts.

Travelling home is exciting, yet I am a little nervous because we don’t know whether we will have a place to stop and park the camper for the 2 nights we will take to drive back. With state parks closed (we usually don’t stay there), and rest areas limited in some states, we are just going to prepare ourselves for anything and just relax and enjoy the drive home.

Stay safe, and stay home people.

Out with the old, in with the new…Year that is!

So we arrived today in Florida, where we will be until sometime in April. We have our reservation until the end of the month, but not yet sure when we will head back home.

As today is December 31st, I logged into Goodreads and updated my reading goals for 2020, and once again I will try to read 50 books. For 2019 I did manage to read 26. Some of them were short stories, but none the less, I was very glad to hit a little over the halfway mark.

According to Statistics in Goodreads, I read 4,034 pages in 26 books. My shortest book was 17 pages, and my longest was 390, with an average length of 155 pages.

I brought a few books from my To Be Read pile with me in the camper, and I have my Kindle as well, so have plenty to read for a while, anyway.

I will plan to write more about the journey to Florida in the coming days. I hope anyway.

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

This week has us busy not only getting ready for Christmas, but also preparing for our trip to Florida for the winter. I have multiple checklists going, and we are watching the weather closely in case we need to alter our travel plans, but I think everything will be ready to go. I’m excited, and a little nervous, but man am I looking forward to the warm Floridian weather!

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well.

Planners & journals and what not

When I had a job, my workspace was fairly organized. At home..not so much. A year or so ago, I started to bullet journal, but I haven’t done that well with it. There will be week long or even month long lapses where I write nothing in it.

My appointments are on my phone. My husband and I share a google calendar to keep track of these things because face it…when you are retired, you have medical appointments. I swear I am busier now than ever before. Or, maybe it just seems that way because I don’t have to wait for a day off to do things I need to get done.

For a while, I had my eye on a Happy Planner at Walmart . It came as part of a kit, and yes, I know I can pick these up anywhere, but the cover of this one was “Humble and Kind” which is something that really resonates with me. While I had my eye on it, in the back of my mind was the thought that it’s silly to buy something when I’m not even using the one I have. Sensible, right?

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I was in Walmart and strolled down the clearance aisle, and there it was. The Happy Planner, marked down to $5! Yes! It was a sign. Of course, I had to buy it.

And here I sit, making lists of what I need/want to take with us on our journey to spend winter in Florida, and I am looking at this planner, next to my journal and trying to figure out the best use for them both, because I really need get consistent with them. Honestly I am thinking of starting a new journal, with the few trackers I need, and just writing down our adventures in it, and using the Happy Planner for everything else. Maybe that is the solution, and maybe that will take some of my anxiety away.

Consistency is not my strongest asset. In some things anyway.

50 books in 2019, update

I haven’t come close to making my goal of reading 50 books this year. I hit a bit of a slump, as I think we all do. Right now, I can honestly say I have read 19, which is really not all that bad. I may have cheated just a little by counting a 32 page book, “Go the F to sleep

Here is my list of books so far:

  1. The Victim’s Club by Jeffrey Deaver (Kindle Single)
  2. A Mother’s Day (A short story) by Kaira Rouda
  3. Grateful American by Gary Sinise
  4. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
  5. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Backman
  6. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  7. Grave Danger by Heather Graham
  8. The Parable of the Dumbass (a very short story) by Antonio Scotto di Carlo
  9. Parable by Jess Walter
  10. Finding Me by Michelle Knight
  11. Reunion by Heather Pittard
  12. Go the F to sleep by Adam Mansbach
  13. Before Her by Jacqueline Woodson
  14. No Rest for the Wicked by Adam Croft
  15. A Cry for Help by Adam Croft
  16. Mermaid by Jodi Picoult
  17. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  18. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  19. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

My goodreads account is linked on the right. You can follow me there and see what I am reading, and I will follow back. I get a lot of suggestions for books to read through what others are reading. My list of books to read is huge…I could never read them in my lifetime, however I would not even know of some of these books were it not for sites like goodreads.

Will I make this same goal in 2020? Probably. I have made this goal for over 10 years already, and only made it twice I think, but I like having a goal to aim for, especially when it comes to reading.

Have you read any good books lately?

The worst experience of our camping trip….

I honestly have to say that I was very surprised at how well our trip went, especially with the dogs since we never really take them a lot of places. But, there was one bad experience that left us feeling rather disappointed…not with our dogs, but with other people.

We took a day trip up to Tahquamenon Falls and State Park in Paradise, MI. It’s a really nice place to walk around and the dogs were being very well behaved and loved all the attention. They seemed to like everyone, including all the other dogs that were visiting that day.

As we were walking the path to the Lower Falls, we passed a couple who had 3 beautiful Huskies with them. We commented to them how gorgeous they were (2 were black, and one was red) and one of the black ones, and our girl Schatzie sniffed noses, as dogs tend to do. A very friendly greeting. Our two were leashed and also had Pug Harnesses on. Two of their three were leashed. All of a sudden, their red Husky let out a horrendous scream and attacked Schatzie, getting her nose in it’s mouth and holding on tight. The gentleman had the dog by it’s chain collar, and struggled pulling it off. After the dogs were separated, they walked on, still struggling to keep their dog in control, and did not even utter an apology our way, or ask if our girl was ok. While Schatzie was slightly shaken up, and on edge the rest of the day, she walked on with us to the lower falls, while other tourists would continue to stop us and tell us how well behaved they were. Some who had seen the attack, asked if they were okay, and commented that the Huskies had issues earlier with other visitors.

Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

We finished our day off uneventfully, and took a lot of great pictures. Schatzie did have a small cut near her eye and her nose, and did walk back to the car with the scent of the other dogs keeping her nose to the ground and walking with purpose.

I am thankful she was not hurt more than she was, especially since the Husky owners were not in the least phased by their dogs behavior, nor interested in making sure our dog was okay.

It was a great outting despite this incident and I am very glad our unplanned outing was such a good day for us.

A little self-promotion

I sell Avon. It’s my side-hustle. And one of the things I LOVE about it, is I can support others with my business. Every year, I donate a portion of my sales to the Alzheimers Association and other causes. This year, Avon has enabled us to take our 4th quarter stuffed animal, and add him to our online fundraising efforts! I am very excited about this.

Meet Finley the Fox.

http://www.avon.com/fundraiser/MichelesAlzheimers

Finley is available ONLY as a fundraiser. He is $25 and for each one sold, I will donate $10 to the Alzheimers Association. I can host an online fundraiser for you or someone else as well. Finley is only available for a short time though, and every year, our stuffed animals sell out fast.

They make a great gift…they are so soft and cuddly. 13″ tall. All you have to do is follow the link, http://www.avon.com/fundraiser/michelesalzheimers and when you clink, Shop this Fundraiser, you will be taken right to Finley’s page. You can choose to checkout, or shop the rest of my online store. $10 of the price of Finley goes to Alzheimers Association, but I am also donating 20% of the total of ALL sales through that special link to them as well.

I appreciate your support!

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Home again….

It’s good to be home, and wow, am I exhausted! What? yeah, 3 weeks on the road in our 5th wheel and I napped yesterday afternoon in my lazy boy once we unloaded at home. Today we cleaned up the camper and have just been relaxing at home.

I need to write up some of our further adventures and rave on some of the places we camped at, and rant about a little incident that happened with our dogs. But, that will come, over time.

I am also planning to try to spend some time focusing on my Avon business. With us now being retired and doing more travelling I would love to get more online customers. I promote the heck out of it wherever I can but haven’t had much luck getting new customers. I used to have an Avon blog, for a couple of years, but I found it was a lot of work to keep up on top of everything else I have going on.

I did make some progress on my reading goals, although to be honest, I read 2 short stories in a day, but that counts as I have no requirements on my goal as to how big the book has to be. I am still way off my goal though.

Until next time….I hope to have something more subsantial.

St. Ignace, Michigan

As I write this, the sun is shining, and there is a very strong breeze outside. This is our last full day in St Ignace, Michigan, and we have stayed inside for most of it. All of the walking we did the past few days has my husbands knees (which are bad) really hurting and since we have to drive 3.5 hours tomorrow we thought a day of rest would be best. Of course, my chronic illness flared up today, so it seems we made the right decision.

Yesterday we took a ride with the dogs, down one of the lake side roads, then to Bridge View Park where we had an excellent view of the Mighty Mac. Drove then through the cute little town of St Ignace and then back to our campsite. It was a lot less walking than we did the previous two days.

The Mighty Mac as seen at Bridge View Park, St. Ignace, Michigan

I am hoping the wind settles tomorrow, as we have to go back over the bridge to get to our next destination which is Ludington, Michigan. We will be there 3 nights.

We really have no agenda, other than our campground reservations. I do need to make a small stop at a store of some kind as I realize that other than Clorox wipes and a broom, I really have NO cleaning supplies. #firsttimerfail . But at least I can sweep the floor and wipe down all the countertops and table, right? Once we get home, we have to take the rig in for some minor work, mostly warranty, so I can thoroughly clean it then if I don’t make it to a store.

And I have discovered that I really need some sort of meal plan. I got some ground beef out the other day for dinner and realized I had no idea what to make. So, I made sloppy joes. But we surely don’t want hamburgers and sloppy joes all the time. So, I need to plan better. The campground WiFi cuts out every couple of minutes, and cell phone reception up here is horrible, so getting online to look at recipes, posting photos, etc really takes a bit of time.

When I take pictures on trips, I use both my cell phone and my DSLR. I upload everything to my laptop each night, and upload to facebook. I am a very amateur photographer, and sometimes I surprise myself. Like with this photo, taken with my DSLR.

Butterfly, Bridge View Park, St. Ignace, Michigan

On to the next adventure. I hope you stick around to see what we do next!

The long and winding road…

We left home last week, and spent a few days with our trailer parked in my brother-in-law’s driveway in Michigan. He had 50 amp power and water for us, but we mostly just used the camper to sleep. The rest of the time we were visiting with family. We showered in their house and ate there as well, but this morning we headed north to Mackinac Island. The weather was gloomy and rainy. We did see a little sun, but not as much as I would have liked to. The sky was not too cloudy when we crossed the Mackinac Island Bridge, but I would have rather had seen sunshine because the views would have been far more spectacular.

I am not sure what the agenda is while we are here. Since we are travelling with two German Shepherd Dogs, we do have to take them into consideration. Well, that, and the weather, which is not looking favorable for at least the next 24 hours.

But, we made it. Longest trip in the rig so far. Have had a few minor glitches, and we are taking it in for warranty work when we get back, and are making a list of the things we need them to work on. Little things all of them, but still, all important.

Currently reading: “Reunion” by Hannah Pittard