December already

I know I have done a poor job at updating this. I have no excuses really. But, a reply I made to a post on facebook made me think I needed to expand on my thoughts and what better place than here, right?

As I have mentioned before we are doing the snowbird thing…wintering in Florida. Well, we are paying for our lot for 6 months starting in November. I insisted we come home for Christmas as I was not ready to spend the holidays away from my kids (who are grown by the way). So, we arrived home late Saturday night, and will head back to Florida around the 27th or so.

My dad worked for a major airline when I was a kid. TWA to be exact. We move numerous times, and didn’t have family around. 90% of our holidays when we were kids, it was just my parents, my sister and I. Sometimes my grandmother (my mom’s mom) would come. But generally, it was just us.

Then I grew up and joined the military and met my husband. The first 4 years of marriage we were overseas. We had Christmas in November, or early December…whenever my parents could make it over. Once we were stateside, we lived on the other side of the country from my inlaws, and a few states away from my parents. My parents came to us some years, but if we travelled, we alternated between my parents in Texas, and his in Michigan. Generally, his parents didn’t come to us (their other grandchildren had no other grandparents in their lives and they couldn’t leave them for the holidays). It is what it is, you know?

So now, my daughter leaves 45 minutes away and my son 3 hours away. The past 2 years they’ve come over on Christmas Day. They both have significant others, so I know they won’t be alone on the holidays, but I am honestly not sure if I am ready for it to be just the two of us yet. Am I doing this for them, or for me?

Just putting that comment on Facebook, and writing this here has me in tears. I’ve not really expressed these feelings to anyone before. I am sure if my motherinlaw sees my comment on Facebook, she will probably call my husband. It has always irritated me that we were expected to come to them. Even now…they will travel to see my niece, but don’t drive this way to see my two kids. They have their reasons, but my kids feel snubbed. Perhaps that is another reason I can’t not be with them at the holidays….maybe I have a little guilt or feeling I am abandoning them?

This turned out much longer than I planned, but it does feel good to get this out there.

I hope all of you are doing well. Hang in there…2020 is almost over and *fingers crossed* 2021 will be a much better one.

Hello strangers…

It’s Sunday evening, July 5th, and I am sitting here at the dinette in our fifth wheel, outside of Alamogordo, New Mexico. We lived here for 15 years, from 1990 to 2005, before moving to South Carolina. We were stationed here at Holloman AFB. Our youngest child, was born here. It’s been 15 years (this October) since we left and it is surprising to see how much has changed, yet how much has stayed the same in this time.

Of course, one of the first things we had to do was take a drive to our old house, and then see if we could find the houses of friends we hung with all the time when we were here. Our friends had kids the same age as ours, and on weekends, they were all at our place, or we were all at theirs. We played cards, had parties and generally just hung out. These were some of the best years of our lives, and I have never been able to have a friendship like that since. Of course, since we left the military, we have found that we don’t relate to a lot of people who never served. I’ve never really been able to figure out why.

I have gotten quite a bit of reading done this year…almost halfway to my 50 book goal! Yay. I haven’t read as much the past few days as I would have liked to, but there is still a few days left of this trip. The heat here, albeit a dry heat, has me ready to nap if we’ve spent the morning outside. Today we drove up to Cloudcroft, where the temperatures were 20 degrees cooler, and the views spectacular. Tomorrow, we are taking the dogs out to White Sands National Park (used to be White Sands National Monument) which was one of our favorite places to take the kids, and visitors, to go spend a little time enjoying one of this countries most beautiful sites. I am sure after being in the 100 degree heat, I will be ready for a nap and some cold ice tea.

In the meantime, I am still working my Avon business, even when I am away from home. I love that I can do that. I had been neglecting my Avon blog, but made a couple of posts on it today; advertising a sweepstakes and some beloved products. You can check it out here.

Until next time…stay cool, be well, and enjoy the rest of your summer!


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.

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, 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.