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.

 

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).

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

http://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.

My 2018 reading challenge…

Every year I set a goal to read at least 50 books during the year.  I track it over on goodreads now, but a few years ago, I did on another site, which is no longer in existence.  I finished a book today, and logged in it, then saw that I am 14 books behind schedule for my goal.  Ahhh…no that is not what I wanted to see.  I really don’t want to pick up short stories or quick easy reads just to tick another book off, but I might have to do that.  I don’t mind if I miss the goal, but I like to at least feel like I tried to make it.

The book I finished today was a heavy book….but relevant to me.  My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and it is the main cause I fundraise for every year.  My daughter and I participate in the Alzheimer’s walk when it comes close to us, and I always donate a portion of my Avon sales every July through September to the Foundation.  Today I finished a book by actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley called “Where the Light Gets in:  Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again“.  It was a great book.  I felt like Kimberly was sitting with me as she told her family’s story.  She covered the pain, joys, failures and triumphs that came with her mother’s disease.  I definitely recommend this to anyone who has been touched by Alzheimers/Dementia, and even to those who have not.

My mountain of books to read is huge….plus there are a bunch more on my kindle as well, and I need to decide what I want to read next.  It will not be as heavy as what I just finished though.

Getting a handle on diabetes…

I’m learning to monitor my blood sugar more, and learning about what i can and cannot eat.  It’s hard to change 50 years of eating habits.  it really is…even when your life depends on it.

I checked my blood sugar at 7 am, before I left for work.  i had 2 cups of tea with stevia, and 2 bowls of unsweetened cheerios.  My blood sugar was 323!  Yikes.  Around 1045 this morning, while at work, my sugar dropped all the way down to 76.  having your blood sugar slip low is not a good feeling.  I start shaking and sweating…i couldn’t focus at all.  Luckily my lunch break was at 11.  I took a bottle of water, a protein bar and a bag of peanuts to the breakroom and ate them.  by 1130, my blood sugar was way back up at 165.  not the ideal lunch by any means, but i didn’t think I should be behind the wheel of a car while I was feeling the way i was.

i really need to get this under control.  I really need to.

Always running behind…

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Mind you,  I am rarely, if ever, late for an appointment or for work.  However, I seem to be running behind on my penpal letters, and my journaling, and my reading.  My intentions are good, but I get busy, or distracted and oops…didn’t get to it.

In February, I participated InCoWriMo, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I did get a few letters, most of which came as the project ended.  So, as of now, I have 11 letters to reply to.  Some of them are from InCoWriMo, and some are my regular penpals. I feel like I have let them down, even though I know many are in the same boat as I am.  I’m even behind on writing something in here, but I decided that a blog about falling behind would succeed in a) getting a  blog entry written, and b) help me feel less guilty about being behind.

So April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, and I am going to participate and challenge myself to once again meeting the challenge!  At least I have letters to reply to to fill up the first few days, right?

Wish me luck!