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, 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

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!

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.