Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nicholas Audet dit Lapointe

Very interesting information about my family history................

from "Our French-Canadian Ancestors" by Thomas J. Laforest

Nicholas was born in 1641. He was the son of Innocent Audet and Vincente Riene(Roy), of Saint-Pierre-Maille, in the diocese of Poitiers. The surnames Audet and Lapointe originated, naturally enough, in France. The story is three families of Audets lived in the same area that formed a triangle and to tell one family of Audets from another, "dit Lapointe" was added to the name because they lived at the "point" of the area.

Immigration: 1663
Nicholas came to Canada in 1663 and was confirmed 23 Mar 1664 at Quebec City. He worked for Bishop Laval, first at the Saint Joachim farm near Cape Tourmente in 1666, then as a caretaker at the lordly Chateau of Quebec, in Quebec City. In return for his service, Bishop Laval granted him land on the Ile d'Orleans on 22 Jun 1667.

Nicholas Audet, decided to become a settler on the Ile d'Orleans, just opposite the Beaupre coast. On June 22, 1667  he received a concession from the Bishop "of three arpents of land fronting the Saint Lawrence River and running Southward". His grant was in the Parish of Saint Famille, from which the Parish of Saint Jean was later formed. His neighbors were Guy Boivin and Robert Boulay. He hired them to help him build a house to be finished in one year.

Each year, on the Feast of Saint Martin, the 11th of November, he was required to give 20 sols in seigneurial rent for each arpent of river frontage, 12 deniers for "cens" and 3 capons chosen by the Seigneur. It is worth noting that the signatures on the contract, other than those of notary Paul Vachon, are those of Jean Crete, Master Cartwright, of Paul de Rainville, sheriff of Beauport and of the Bishop of Quebec himself.  Nicholas Audet appears to have been well connected!

As soon as he could, Nicholas busied himself building his house with the help of his neighbors. The census of 1681 tells us that by then he had cleared fifteen arpents of land and had acquired 6 animals.

Having built a house, Nicholas sought to make a home. To this end, he courted Madeleine Despres.

The marriage brought forth twelve children, nine boys and three girls, the elder two died young. All were born in the Parish of Saint Famille except the youngest three who were born at Saint Jean, Ile d'Orleans.

These ten children founded the family line. It is noted that all were married on the island, except Marguerite.
Joachim, the youngest son, moved to Boucherville after the death of his parents.

Nicholas was buried in the cemetery at Saint Jean where his headstone bore the surname Lapointe. His widow passed on her inheritance by donation to her oldest son Joseph. An inventory of the belongings of Nicholas was made by notary Etinne Jacob, on Sept 27, 1706. It recorded seventy-five arpents of usable land, a nearby new house, measuring eighteen by twenty-four feet, a shed and a stable.

I googled Ile d'Orleans to get information for a future trip to the area, a lot of the websites are in French.
I didn't take any language classes in school, now I may have to try and learn some French.  I want to take the RV up there and see the areas that my ancestors lived, and see if I can find the cemetery.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Maybe a long lost cousin

This genealogy stuff is pretty interesting.

Sacagawea (Lewis & Clark guide) was married to Toussaint Charbonneau, born in 1767.

My great, great, great, great grandmother was Marie Anne Charbonneau, born in 1735.

Maybe Sacagawea is the Native American woman rumored to be in the Audette family. Maybe she is a long lost relative - an in-law from a cousin or uncle, or something like that.

Would be interesting to find out, not sure where to start looking for more information. So far, I have been using information that someone else had dug up - but then I saw that name Charbonneau, and linked it to Sacagawea's husband. None of the family history that I have mentions this link.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Audet" Family Tree

This is the Family Tree information that I have. There is rumor that one of the Audette's married a BlackFoot Indian. I sent the family tree to an organization in Montana to research, but never heard back from them.

1640: Innocent Audet dit Lapointe/born in St. Pierre de Mailee, Paris, France (1615-1670) married Vincente Reine (1620-1675)
1670: Nicholas Audet dit Lapointe/born in St. Pierre de Maille, Paris France (1641-1700) married Magdeleine Despres (1656-1712)
(I have some history about Nicholas for another post)

1716: Joachim Audet/born in St. Jean,Ile d'Orleans (1680-1752) married Louise Roberge (1690-1775)
1752: Joseph Audet dit Lapointe (1728-1786) married Marie Anne Charbonneau (1735-1790)
1801: Joseph Audet/born in Boucherville, Quebec (1760-1850) married Veronique Letard (1785-1860)
1852: Oliver Audette/born in Longueuil, Quebec (1830-1880) married Adeline Boutheiller (1835-1882)
1877: Pierre Audette/born Valleyfield, Quebec (1856-1923) married Emilie Roi (1851-1909)
their son Victor Audette (1895-1961) is my grandfather born in Red Lake, MN

I'm thinking maybe a road trip to Canada is on my list of places to go.

In 1990, our family drove from Chicago to Niagara Falls, and North thru Canada to Sault St. Marie and then down into Wisconsin. We circled the Great Lakes, we may have gone through some areas where my ancestors farmed.

Canada Family History

My cousin came over today so I could do her tax return. She is working on a family history. Awhile back, I posted some of my grandma's travel stories and I am going to give my cousin the papers and photos I have to add to the family history. We talked about setting up a website or a blog, so other family members can join in, and we can post pictures and stories about the family.

I'm part Canadian: family name - Audette. (Odette)

Am I related to any of you out in Blogland???

I'm going to get more info, and post a blog about my family history.  It would be interesting to find someone related... through this blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Half Price Books

Half Price Books (retail/online) sent me an email with "Spring Break" coupons

I stopped at a store, in between appointments, and it's like Amazon without the shipping costs. I purchased 5 books and spent less than $30.00. I bought some older books, but they are new to me.
All of the books are in good shape, and some don't even look like they have been read.

The titles I bought are:
Pocket Guide to Zion and Bryce Canyon Natl Pks, Frommer, 2000
I have these pocket books for some of the other parks, and really like the way the info is presented

A Road of Her Own, Women's Journeys in the West, Marlene Blessing, 2002
started reading this one already

The Blue Bear, Lynn Schooler, 2002 (Alaskan story)

Going Back to Bisbee, Richard Shelton, 1993

Cities of Gold, A Journey Across the American SouthWest, Douglas Preston, 1992

I could have bought a ton more of the Travel Journals, they had shelves full of them. I was looking for a guide to State Parks or a guide to Wildlife Areas, but they didn't have those.

And they will buy back the books, I don't expect much for the books but it is better than nothing. I'm going to take a box of books over there next week to see what they offer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Went to 2 short appointments this morning, but did not go to my part-time job this afternoon.

I told him last week that I would not be in on Monday. Good planning, it was a great day to be home and to be outside. 

Cleaned up a little around the yard, fed the birds.  Shook out some rugs, vacuum, dust and moved boxes from the house to the garage. 

The nice weather is helping me to get things done.  I feel like I didn't get anything done during the winter, now I am catching up on everything.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peace of Mind

The absence of mental stress or anxiety
and the presence of serenity, calm,
quiet, comfort of mind,
inner peace.

My head is spinning, toooo many RV's for sale everywhere, on vacant lots, craigslist, Ebay, all of the local and not so local RV dealers.  Thousands and thousands of RV's for sale.

I understand that life is not all rosy, and there are no guarantees, and that things will break and that life will go on.  I have usually been fortunate enough to be able to roll with the punches, to be able to pick myself up, dust myself off and move on.

I may use this blog to vent, but that is all part of the process.

I am taking a break from looking, allowing myself to digest all of the info that I have accumulated about different classes of RV's, different engine sizes, slide or no slide, sleeping and bathroom arrangements.  I know what I like and what I don't like. The goal is to get one with the features I like, without busting the budget.

I am still young, and don't want to work fulltime - so I have to stretch the funds I have, and don't want to squander whatever proceeds I will get from the sale of my home.

I could worry less about money by getting a full time job or building up another tax practice, but my heart is just not in doing that at this time. Maybe down the road, I will find a place to settle down, for now I want to wander. 

I do appreciate all of the input from everyone, everyone has their own likes and dislikes and what is good for someone else is not necessarily good for me.  Keep telling me your thoughts because it does help to hear about your experiences. It helps me to remember that there will be challenges along the way. I enjoy reading about all of your journeys and joys and even the misfortunes, they don't stop you.  You are still out there and did not let those things stop you from your journey.

The weather is cruddy today, raining and thunder, can't go and look at RV's anyway.  They are usually closed on Sunday, but one dealer was having a special event and would be open today.

I am going to pack up some boxes and move them out to the garage for my upcoming garage sale, I will spend today sorting through clothes and other things and setting aside the things that I will keep.

Thanks for listening...........
I hope everyone has a good day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How Frugal do I want to be...........


I keep going back and forth.........trying to decide.  I won't buy a 2011 or 2012, but if I can get a good price on a new 2010, I just may do that.

The difference between the used models I'm looking at and a new 2010 is about $30,000.  What could I do with that money???  Have you ever read any of Warren Buffet's financial advice - he never buys a new car. He talks about the value of the money saved in future value. If I take the $30k and put it away and forget about it, what will it be worth in 10 years? 20 years?

I've already checked into some Alaska workamping jobs, and I want to drive to Alaska in 2012, so I need a dependable RV to do this. If I buy something that is 6 or 8 or 10 years old, how will it do on the Alaska Highway? 

And, what if I buy a lemon, and have to replace the used RV sooner, and how much will I spend on unknown repairs to the used RV? So, maybe I won't be able to put away the entire $30k and forget about it.

So, do I make my decison on what I want/need now, or do I think about the future? I can buy cheap, and get on the road sooner, (would not have to finance a cheap RV, would not have to wait for my house to sell). Will I have more breakdowns, leaks, problems. I like the idea of having a warranty on anything that may go wrong in the first year or two.

No one can predict the future, but we can do some planning.

So far, of the used RV's I have been inside, I have not been impressed with the insides of any of them, and many of them have rust in the compartments for the water and propane, so this has me leaning towards the 2010.  But, the frugal side of me says.....don't spend that extra money.

What to do?  What to do?  Wait a week or two, if the 2010 is still around then it was meant to be, if it's gone.... keep looking.

Friday, March 18, 2011


How much water do you use?

I'm looking at a Class B+
with a freshwater tank of 39 gallons

Just wondering how long this would last?
(for one person)

Do you use bottled water for cooking and drinking?

Is a 6 gallon water heater enough water to take a shower?

New vs. Used
 I'm looking at a new 2010 that is marked down
 because the 2012 models are on the lot.
I always felt that with new, you lose a lot with depreciation.

I like the idea that no one else has used it,
and that the water tanks have not sat empty
maybe getting moldy or smelly???

What's your opinion on this?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patty's Day

May there always be work for your hands to do.

May your purse always hold a coin or two.

May the sun always shine on your windowpane,
may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the hand of a friend always be near you,
and may God fill your heart
with gladness to cheer you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

another RV Dealership

Today I had a tax appointment at a senior community out in the boonies, on the way home I drove past an RV dealer, so decided to stop in. I get nervous, but feel better once I actually walk in the door. They didn't have any small units, but he said they sometimes get them in on trade, and he would email me if something comes in.

Don't be too timid or squemish
about your actions
All life is an experiment
The more experiments you make
the better
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Waiting, Patience and Negotiating

Now that I have gone to look at RV's and walked inside and around them, I am getting very impatient.

I want to get one NOW, and start filling it up with things from the house. I am sorting and cleaning out the house, and I'm not sure what will fit in the RV. In my basement, I found a box of stuff from when we had a trailer - plastic dishes, campfire cookware, and miscl camping things. It would be great to have the RV parked in the driveway. I feel like I am spending too much time on the computer looking for the right RV. I need to buy one soon, so I can get on with other things. I'm planning some more weekend trips to RV dealers, possibly going to Iowa to look at the "Born Free" brand. Update: Just found out my cousin is visiting from California this weekend, so Iowa will have to wait another week or so. But I can still go to some other dealers closer to home.
I have also narrowed it down to what
I like and don't like.
A decent size bathroom is at the top of the list, I really like the RV's with the rear bathroom. More space to turn around and move around. The tight little corner bath or side bath just won't do it. On the other hand, I have always been able to sleep anywhere, sleeping on a couch is not a problem, I may not even open it up to a bed. During the day - fold up the blankets and stash them in a closet. Have you ever seen a quillow? -it's a quilt folded up into a throw pillow.
I am also limiting myself to the 6 or 7 brands, in the class I am looking at, that are the top rated RV's for safety and quality construction. There are thousands and thousands of used RV's and by limiting the brands, I am making it much easier to make a decision.

I will be starting out with something small, I need to getaway with the least amount of stuff and stress, I would like to park near a beach and just stay there for several months, while I decide the next place to go.

Several years ago, I was going to get a VW pop top camper van (no bathrooom). So, a class B+ with a slide is a big step up from a VW camper van.

I originally thought I would sell my house and then pay for the RV using money from the sale of the house. I'm thinking I would like to have the RV before the house is sold, so that I can decide what possessions to keep and what will fit.  I want to take some short trips to campgrounds and parks closer to home.  So, I am planning on purchasing something in the next few months and will probably finance it. I could then pay it off, or not, once the house is sold.

As far as dealing with the salesperson,
I will walk away if I am not comfortable. Several times, I have walked away in the middle of a deal when buying a car, and the salesman and manager would follow me out the door begging me to come back - but I would just go down the street to the next dealer. I go head to head with the salesperson, I usually carry my handy dandy calculator with me. I look out for hidden charges, and prep fees and cleaning fees? - that's all a part of doing business, and I shouldn't be charged extra for it. I'm sure I've made mistakes, and I don't think any dealer ever lost money by selling me something, but you learn more each time you negotiate.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blogs vs Books

I have always been a reader........probably reading too much.

I usually read biographies or non-fiction - travel books, crafting and art books. I rarely bought fiction/novels.

The blogs are like a biography, if I find a blog I like, I go back to the beginning of that persons blog and read to discover more about who they are.

I still read books, but find that I read the blogs more, now. I have a small 'netbook' which makes reading blogs in bed or on the couch easier. I may get the Sprint "TAB" when I go on the road, or maybe even an IPad, I have to figure out what service plan for phone and internet will be the best for me. I have always used Sprint, but need to consider some of the other Wi-Fi contraptions out there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

RV Shopping

Well, I did it. I went to look at some RV's today.

It was cold and overcast and the weather kept trying to convince me to stay inside.
I left the house at 11am, and drove about an hour. The first RV dealer I went to was gone, vacant, a for sale sign on the fence. Last night I printed pictures of RV's for sale from their website, and wrote down the address. Oh, well. I was going to call the number on the printout, but didn't.

I stopped at an antique store to look around, I am looking for 50's style melamine dishes for the RV. I don't need anything else because I am in the process of cleaning out my house. I did buy 2 books, and a small twin size quilt. I can use the quilt in the RV, it is handquilted and very soft, not like the imported ones for sale in department stores.

Then I went to Camping World, the salesman asked basic questions and told me to be "totally honest" with him when I went inside the RV's. I looked at four: 1 Class B Van, and 3-Class B+.  I was surprised at how dirty they were inside and told him this. When I would go to a car dealer to buy a used car, they always detailed the used cars to have them looking there best.  I was going to take pics with my cell phone, but I forgot. All of the RV's are on their website, so I can look at the pics when I compare these different models.

The Class B Roadtrek Van is tooooooo small. I won't be getting one of those, I had to bend over to go in the side door, not enough head room.  The Class B+ are wider, but are small and cozy and this is what I want. A small little cocoon to stay in while I travel. Many of you have bigger rigs, but I am not ready to commit to a bigger RV at this time, I just need to really get away, and small and simple is what I want.  These are what I looked at:

2005 R Vision Trail Lite 235S with a slide for the couch/bed
The quality of the shower surround is poor, and would need to be replaced, previous owners added wood floors, but did not go under the dinette seats. I would want to put a desk in place of the dinette, so I would have to redo the entire floor. This one has a Chevy engine, I prefer Chevy over Ford. states that the entire quality of this brand is poor.

2007 Coachman Concord 235SS with a longer slide for the couch/bed and the closet. Across from the sofa are 2 swivel chairs with footstools - there is a fake narrow cabinet with a ledge behind these and it had a terrible looking caulking around the edges. And someone added a cabinet in the bathroom, that would cause you to bang your head anytime you were in there. It does not match the original cabinets in the RV. states that this model is unsafe and they would stay away from it. Maybe its overloaded - to heavy???? It is bigger and wider, but has same engine as the smaller Phoenix Cruiser.

2001 Phoenix Cruiser Model 2100, this is small, just like I want, no slides. (it's like a Chinook) It has tile floor, which is good and I would replace the dinette with a desk. There is an outside door for storage under the sofa, and this is a good size, would be good for lawn chairs, etc.  I looked around the other outside compartments, and the propane tank looks very rusty - what else is rusty under there???  I doubt that the dealer would do anything about it. I asked the salesman and he said they might do some things, the salesmen is supposed to get more info on these models and email them to me. I like the size and the floorplan of this one, but the rust concerns me, it would have to be worked on and I'm not sure that I want to take the time and money to do that. I may be better off spending more up front on a newer model that does not need the work done.

I'm glad I went, even though it never got over 40 degrees, and was very windy, we didn't spend a lot of time outdoors, all of these RV's were parked in the same row. I am now looking for another group of RV dealers to go to next weekend. I may have to head into Indiana or Michigan.

Friday, March 11, 2011

World News

I don't watch a lot of TV and/or news, but I did hear about the Earthquake/Tsunami.

My thoughts and prayers are with those that are affected by this.

And I hope that they can keep the Nuclear Power Plants under control, we certainly don't need any problems with that.

I found this sight interesting:
This sight describes earth movements that have happened this week in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Wyoming and other areas.

RV Consumer Group

I wanted to make sure that whatever RV I decide to buy, that it is of good quality. I decided to spend the money to buy a package from with a book describing how to buy a RV plus reviews on a CD.  They also sent a CD - "How to Outwit any Auto, Truck, or RV dealer everytime. The author states that I should be able to save at least $6000 using his tips.

The book is very interesting and is just what I need, the author describes what types of RV's are most likely to leak, what types are hard to handle on the road, how to look for a quality made RV.

The book was published in 2005, third edition, " How to Select, Inspect and Buy an RV" by JD Gallant.
The CD has ratings for many years of used RV's and also new 2010 and 2011 models. The ratings give average prices, based on how much they depreciate each year. They also sent a CD about "Safely Towing" but I am not going to do any towing at this time, maybe later.

The author states that RV's are not subject to safety regulations and quality controls the same as automobiles. Since I will be traveling alone, I want to make sure that I have something reliable and comfortable.

I understand that all RV's will need repairs and maintenance - just like my house and car do now.

I saw a small class B+ RV.... which I liked the floorplan, but this guide said that the quality of this brand is terrible, so I guess I will pass on that and only search for the brands that have a good rating. Of course, these are harder to find used, and the cost is more than the other brands with lower ratings.

The categories that he uses for rating the RV's are: Fulltiming, Snowbirding, Vacationing and RoadTrekking.

RV's that are rated for RoadTrekking are made better, with less parts likely to come lose on rough roads, less shaking, better control.  When he describes their use, it sound like boondocking.

For the size RV I am looking at, these are the RV brands that are rated for RoadTrekking:
Bigfoot, Born Free, Chinook, DynaSport UTV, EarthRoamer, Isata E Series, Isata Sport Sedan, Platinum Coach House.  (A class B+ or small Class C - no overhead bunk)

If you see any of these brands available, I am very interested in looking at them, even if I have to take a weekend trip to go see it. I haven't found too many of these available in IL or surrounding states.  I think I'll go for a drive tomorrow to see if I can find one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Breaking Free

What is my calling in life? Do we all have a calling in life?

I've been working more this tax season than I have in the past 3 years. I sold my tax practice in January of 2008. I have slowly been increasing the amount of tax work I am doing every year. It's seasonal and I really do enjoy the work, and since its cold and snowy and rainy with no sunshine, I may as well be making a little money because I can't do much outside.

I know I don't want to be in the Midwest for winters anymore, and I want the freedom to travel around.

I have been telling everyone around me about my plans to sell my house and get an RV and travel, I mention workamping at the National Parks and of plans to go to Alaska in 2012.
Doing taxes comes easily for me,  I have a sixth sense about helping people with their taxes, pulling info out of them, asking them about things that pertain to their taxes that they didn't think about and didn't originally tell me about.  But, is this something that I should be doing forever? Should I try to get a part time "tax preparers job" when I am out roaming the country?  Will I ever stop doing taxes...............

I'm tired of thinking about it, and hope that once I am out of here, that the decisions will make themselves clearer to me.  I'm hoping that some freedom and open spaces will help me to see what my next step on this journey will be............

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Beginning of the week.......

What day starts the week?

Many of my blog readers are retired or working part time - but do you consider Sunday or Monday the beginning of the week?

I have been self-employed for many years, so I don't have a regular work schedule. I am now working part-time at a tax office, but I am able to pick my own hours.

I was looking over my appointments for the week, and I am also starting to keep track of how much time I spend walking or exercising. I want to track the number of hours per week that I do these activities, and a thought came up. Do I start with Sunday or Monday?

In the past, I had some calendars that started the week with Monday and I was always putting the appointments on the wrong day, because I didn't look at the date at the top of the square, I just looked at the squares to figure where the day was. But the days were in the wrong place.

So, I say Sunday is the beginning of the week, but someone that only has Sat and Sun off work, probably says Monday starts the week.

Ok, so this may be a wierd way of thinking about things, but thats how I am. After all, I am living in "Teri World".

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Starved Rock State Park, IL

More Photos from the park

On May 1, 2010
I took myself on a weekend trip to Starved Rock State Park
to celebrate what would have been my 34th wedding anniversary
And what did I see
A wedding was being held just a few yards from my cabin
So I sat on the porch and watched the wedding.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Walk

I really feel better and have more energy if I can be outside.
I think that the lack of sunshine and fresh air
has a negative effect on us.
Dreaming of Sunshine and Summer

I was able to get outside
for a walk earlier today
the temp was 55 and overcast.
May 1, 2010 Starved Rock State Park Utica, IL

But then the weather
turned on me
and now it is raining
and we may get snow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Sam, a blogger friend, gave me some info about campgrounds nearby some train viewing areas, so I thought I would post some of my favorite train pics. I often read blogs where the writer comments on the terrible noise from a train during the night. I actually like listening to the trains while I am falling asleep.

Royal Gorge, Canon City, Colorado

Black Hills RR, South Dakota

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Drake Tax Software

Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb