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, 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!