The next chapter begins….

Tomorrow is August 9th, and not only is it my late mother’s birthday, but it is my last day of work. Ever. For now I am going to keep my Avon business, but as for an outside job with a reglar paycheck and timeclock…never again.

It feels weird to say that….and I am a ball of emotions right now. I am looking forward to the travelling we plan to do; focusing on my health and family and all the new adventures, but I am also scared.

I will get up tomorrow morning, and put a smile on my face, then hobble into the hardware store that I have worked at for the past 10 years, and be the best damn cashier I can be, one last time. And, at 4:00, I will take off that red vest and my nametag for the last time.

I might need to pack some tissues too.

Maiden Voyage

We left Wednesday for a short excursion just 2 hours or so north of us. It was our shakedown trip in our 5th wheel, and the first trip of its kind for our dogs.

We packed everything we thought we needed and more than enough food and hooked up. We got the dogs tethered into the back seat of the truck and off we went. The trip went well, despite our female shepherd crying the whole trip. We stayed at Galesburg East Campground in Knoxville, IL. The park is very nice. All the spaces are pull through with plenty of space to open up our slides. They do not allow outdoor rugs bigger than 2×3 to keep the grass from dying. Each spot has a nice sized grassy area with picnic table. There is a pond where you can fish (catch and release only) and a nature trail. There is also a pool, for park guests only. Unfortunately it was so incredibly hot the past few days (over 105 with heat index) that we couldn’t really do too much, plus the dogs really didn’t like it when one of us was out of their site. Mind you we did take a nice long walk every morning while it was still cooler out. Outside of potty breaks for the dogs, they pretty much slept the whole trip!

On a whole this trip went well. Our air conditioners worked great (thank goodness) and we didn’t have any problems with any of the camper items that we used. The washer and dryer we added in worked (although the floor of the half bath was covered with water, and we are not sure if it was the washer, or the dogs water dish being knocked over) and we do need to put something on the entrance stairs so the dogs can grip it better when they go in and out. but otherwise we are very satisfied with the way things went down. We already have some things the dealer needs to fix (little minor things) so we don’t have a lot to add to the list.

I managed to get two pen pal letters written and finish the book “Every Breath” by Nicholas Sparks that I had started a few weeks ago. Otherwise I think I snoozed a bunch as well. The heat really did me in.

I will no longer be working as of August 11th, so we will be planning another short trip sometime that month. Maybe we can find something on a lake that’s not too far away. Then a trip to Michigan in September which will then turn into a trip to Mackinac Island then over to Minnesota to see my sister. After that, who knows. We do head to Florida for the winter after Christmas.

I do need to figure out how I want to organize my kitchen, and develop some sort of ‘traffic plan’ when it comes to cooking meals. I love the double sink in the island, but since its the biggest counter space I have to prep on, need to figure out the best way to make everything flow!

How was your week? Any RV organization tips for this newbie?

Oh my aching neck. Help, I have way too much in my purse

Like many women, I carry a purse every day. Mine is never small. I could never do a small one, as I have too much stuff to put in it. Okay, to be completely honest, half the time I don’t use most of the stuff in it, but it’s there just in case I might need it.

I have my wallet, my diabetic meter and some sugar tablets; Avon brochures and my order book; pens; diabetic friendly snacks, a phone charger, some makeup and sometimes my tablet.

I know I don’t need it all there, but yet it’s there. I really need to downsize. What are your MUST HAVE items in your purse?

An Adventure Awaits

So, we did a thing. We bought a 5th wheel, and not just any 5th wheel, a 42 foot long one!

We have plans to escape to Florida for a few months at the first of the year, and then travel as much as we can. We are not ready to be full timers yet…but down the road…maybe.

We have a lot to do, like getting the dogs used to travelling, and people and not just running out the door anytime they want to (because there are rules you know) but I think we can manage that…oh, and there is the whole not killing each other thing because we will be around each other 24/7.

Yeah..alot to do. I’ve been terrible at keeping up with this blog…and now I am wondering if I should keep it, or start a new one to chronicle our adventures. Definitely something to think about!

Book 4 of 50

I am off to a slow start on my goal (again) of reading 50 books this year. I just finished #4.  But, the last book I finished in a few days versus a few weeks.

The time to read isn’t a problem, it’s the whole thing of actually sitting down to do it…taking even 20 minutes to devour a few pages, but instead I get distracted or think of something else to do and then the moment is gone.

I track my books at Goodreads.  I’ve got piles of books on my nightstand and on my kindle.  My Amazon wish list is large and I am constantly adding to it, everytime someone makes a book suggestion to me.  My reading interests are varied, and often depend on my mood, or what is going on in my life at the time.

When I go on vacation, I often take paperbacks, usually something like a romance or true crime, and once I finish it, I will leave it somewhere for someone else to enjoy.

I just started a book that came recommended to me on Goodreads called “My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry” by Fredrik Backman.  I’m only a few pages into it at the moment.  

If you would like to see my reviews of other books I have read, feel free to visit my Goodreads profile.

Happy Reading!

Putting pen to paper

This year I have decided to once again participate in IncoWrimo. This is my 2nd year participating in International Correspondence Writing Month (Incowrimo) and I am also participating in LetterMo which is essentially the same thing. Different hashtags on all the social media platforms, but the basic premise is the same…write a letter to someone every day in February. Easy right?

I have yet to come up with a tracker for the month. What I used last year really was not effective, and essentially I would like something I can use all year. Perhaps a separate notebook. I tend to get so caught up with life that I put my received letters in a pile, which then gets put aside for a few days, then a few days more and before I know it life gets in the way and more time than I care to admit to gets in between the receipt of the letters and my reply.

I don’t have much pretty stationary for the task ahead, and we are on a very tight budget at the moment, but I hope to pick up some pretty notecards that I can use. I had more luck last year for Incowrimo when I sent out short notes of greeting than when I tried to get to in depth.

Have you ever participated in either of these?

Wish me luck!

Change…

My husband unexpectedly retired in October. Basically, after getting his bonus in September, they eliminated his position. He disn’t handle it well, and was not in a very good mood for a few weeks. He has worked since he was 14, and now, at 59 1/2 feels a bit lost. But, he has now decided he is just going to retire, and try to golf more, fish more, and start renovating the house (which we have wanted to do for a few years now). So now renovation has begun, and since we are doing it ourselves, it is one room at a time. New paint. New trim. new flooring. In every room. When we bought this house 12 years ago every room was seafoom green. There is carpet (of some kind) in every room. The master bathroom has a gold colored toilet and tub (very 70s). It’s all going away. We are putting pergo flooring down and very room will be painted differently. Looks good so far.

To say that he was easy to live with would be a lie. Every day that I went to work I was thankful to get away from the grump Even my boss was willing to give me extra hours! Of course, much of that was also because his job was 100K a year. And now we don’t have that income. We are definitely having to really budget and cut back on expenses. We did put his severance pay in savings, and I transfer some over only when I absolutely need it to pay bills. Short term it’s working out, but long term, we need to get out from under all our debts so that we won’t have to worry.

We are still planning to make our annuual trek to Florida in April. His mood is much more pleasant now that he is at peace with the life changes. I am NOT used to having him home all the time.. My days off, I enjoyed having the house to myself. He goes grocery shopping with me now too, which I don’t mind sometimes, but othertimes, I would like to take my time and browse the aisles. He’s a “get whats on the list and get out” kinda guy.

Adjustments. There are a few. We will get there. It’s just going to take some time.

I will not be meeting my reading goal for the year. I fell way behind. Oh well. It definitely isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. My mountain of books to read, however, did grow substantially, so I need to get on that. 50 books never used to be that hard to get, but maybe in 2019 I will cut it back to 25. Tempting.

I am still bullet journaling, although I don;t even pick it up for days at a time. I guess I need to find something that works for me. Or maybe not do it at all. My schedule and appointments I keep on my google calendar. I do like having a way to track my books (other than goodreads), and my weight, IG followers etc, and I would like to incorporate my home business into it as well. Maybe i can find some groups here on LJ…..althugh I have a lot on FB that I am a member of.

 

Am I failing my reading goals for the year?

My annual goal of reading 50 books a year is looking like yet another miss…I just finished my 13th book.  I have a lot of reading to do to reach my goal by the end of the year, but I am going to keep plugging on.  Reaching the goal is a bonus to my enjoyment of reading.

I just finished “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Jan Karon, which is part of her Mitford Series.  I have read almost every book  in the 14 book series, (I just realized I missed one, called “In the Company of Others”) The series is based around Father Tim Kavanaugh  who is an Episcopalian Priest.  The books are filled with small town country living; great characters and great stories.  This particular story is based on the wedding of Father Tim’s adopted son Dooley.

I was introduced to this series by the Reference Librarian at a library I worked at for a short time.  Her excitement for the books was infectious, and I began to look forward to their release and arrival in the library as much as she was.  I am not sure I would have picked them up on my own, as at that point in my life, I was not reading as much, and was mostly reading strictly books from Danielle Steel or Harlequin Series books.  I am ever thankful for the opportunity to work in a library, and the exposure to new titles, new genres and new authors.  I now read a much wider variety of books than I did before.

I love getting book recommendations and would love to hear what you suggest I put on my reading list.

 

Instagram part deaux

After much thinking and hesitation, I have created an Instagram solely from my bullet journal/writing and reading endeavors.  I was following so many people on my personal IG that I thought it would be easier to separate the two.

Ok…to be completely honest., I have THREE instagram accounts.  My personal one, my bullet journal one, and one for my Avon business (plus I run the one for my job).

www.instagram.com/michelecreates   (Bullet journal, books and writing)

www.instagram.com/beautyandhumanity  (My Avon business)

It’s been easy to keep up with so far!  And with different interests on all of them, I’m hoping it becomes a little easier for me to navigate.

How many Instagram accounts do you have??

 

Color me happy

I’ve not been feeling well for a while now.  It’s probably all related to my diabetes.  Sometimes it’s just my feet hurting.  Sometimes it’s an overall blah feeling…and sometimes, well, I cannot quite describe how I feel, other than just….off.

So, I had my followup with my doctor in regards to my diabetes today and he said I deserved three gold stars.  Not only did my weight drop by 10 pounds (by his scale) but my A1C dropped from 8.5 to 7.4.

I attribute most of this to the medications I am on.  I take Glipizide and Metformin twice a day and I take Farxiga in the mornings.  Farxiga is outrageously pricey, and even with my insurance, was going to cost me over $900 every 3 months.  So, we got a coupon from the manufacturer and I now have a $0 copay. This coupon is only available to people with insurance.  So…why not lower the cost?  I really do not understand the price of medications in this country.

After I left the doctor’s office I started thinking about how good those numbers could be if I actually added in some exercise to my weekly routine.  And really cut out the foods I shouldn’t have.  I have been doing portion control though, and not buying the “bad” foods.  It’s definitely helping though.

I’ll take it.  Not going to complain.  My goal is to have all the numbers down again when I go back in November.