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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
notes from my journal November 8, 2010
I'm thinking these notes came from the book, but honestly I don't remember,  just typing out my journal entries so that I can keep them here.
I didn't write in a journal everyday, or even in the same book all of the time. I have loose pages that I want to keep in one place - that will have to be this blog, for now.

Life is a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control.  You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.

Life is about letting go of the "dramas of our life" that seem to consume so much of our time and instead taking that new energy - that comes with the letting go - and putting it into loving deeply and living passionately.

Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.

How am I letting the opportunities of the day define my life?  What ones am I missing that I should be taking?

Some people were born to sit by a river, some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim, some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people dance. "What is it that you were born to do?"

For what it's worth, it's never to late to be whoever you want to be.
There's no time limit, stop whenever you want.
You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.
We can make the best or the worst of it.
And I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things you never felt before.
I hope you meet people with a different point of view.
I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

It is never to late to start living.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Can I change my ways

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.  
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it is not my fault.
It takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk,
I see it's there.
I still fall in.
 It is a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am;
it IS my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it
I walk down another street.
*   *   *   *   *
Yes, I can make changes.
Bad gone........

Friday, September 23, 2011


Last post I wrote about not liking to use the generator.

Before I purchased the RV, I read about the requirement for a minimum amount of fuel.

I usually fill up my gas tank when it's around 1/2 tank, a few times it went a little below a half tank. Some generators run off propane, I looked at the label on my generator, it says "gasoline". I'm not sure if I need 1/4 or 1/2 tank to start it.  It appears that you would want near a full tank, what if you have a 1/2 tank and run the generator in the evening, turn it off and want to turn it on again in the morning, you won't have 1/2 tank of fuel anymore because you used some for the generator, so it probably would not start???

When I get close to the area for my overnight stay, I usually fill up my gas tank before going to the campground. That way, I won't have to stop in the morning and I can start the next day with a full tank of gas.

I do not remember how much gas I had when I arrived in South Padre last June (when the generator would not start).

I know I should be running it for a short time each month, I have read all of the information about it.

I have also read all of the warnings in the manual.  Close all roof vents, close the windows on the side of the RV that the generator is on. Make sure the generator exhaust is not close to another RV or building.
And on and on........  I am very sensitive to the fumes and noise.

I understand that I may need/want to use the generator at some time. If I am unable to park overnight with electricity, I may end up being thankful that I have a generator.

Or, I can do without electricity for one night.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

I think I will try to make peace with the generator.

I need to go for an oil change next week, I will ask them to check out the generator for me. I will read more about the monthly maintenance that I need to do to keep it running.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sitting too Long.......

The last time I took the coach out was on July 7th. After that, I drove it twice just to move it to my neighbors driveway when I had my garage sale.  It has sat for almost 2 months without moving. The house batteries are not charged. The inside lights do not work. I should have started it up a few times or driven to a local park - or something- just to keep the house batteries charged.  I was so busy working on the house and dealing with other stuff that I didn't think about it.

I don't like using the generator. It worked at the dealer when I picked up the coach, they turned it on to show me what button to press inside the coach. In June, when I tried to use it in South Padre, it did not work, my son-in-law and his brother tried to get it started without any luck. I didn't go anywhere to have it looked at because I don't want to use it anyway. Solar panels can be expensive, but maybe I will get them anyway.

Today, I plugged the coach into an outlet in my garage for a few hours so I could turn on the lights.

I've been moving a lot of stuff out of the house. I've decided NOT to have another garage sale, it's too much work and I've already sold most of the "good" stuff.  I'm taking books and magazines to the library and have donated some shoes to "Share Your Soles".  The Animal Welfare Agency near my home will take donations of towels, sheets and blankets.

I received a postcard in the mail from an organization that will pick up "stuff" on Monday Sept. 26th, all I have to do is call them at least 48 hours before the pickup date. They ask you to place the items "curbside". The only problem with this is Monday is my trash pickup day - how do I make sure the donations don't get picked up by the trash collectors. They want you to attach part of the postcard to the donation. I can probably make some copies of the postcard - as I will have more than one box to put out.

Of course, some items are going into the coach. I've been sitting out in the coach, trying to figure out what I need to take and where is the best place to put everything. I still have empty cabinet and closet space, I don't want to take too much stuff with me, but I don't want to sell or donate something and then have to buy it again later on.

Since I have the space, I will take some of my sewing and craft supplies. I won't be taking my sewing machine, it's big and heavy and doesn't always work right. I enjoy doing "handwork" and can work on small projects.

Although I don't plan on spending a lot of time in cold weather, I am taking my favorite pair of boots and some warmer jackets. And some hats, scarfs and gloves. I am thinking that the space under the dinette seat will be a good place to keep these cold weather items.

Travel books are still an issue. I am ok with limiting other books to one or two and exchanging them along the way. But, the travel books are hard to part with, even though I can get a lot of the information online. I am not always online and I like to look at the maps and information on the pages, adding to the list of travel books are the campground directory and the Passport America and KOA directories.

I have an accordian type folder with tags for all of the states to hold my maps and a limited number of travel brochures. Luckily this fits nicely into a denim totebag that I have, this makes it easier to carry and keeps it from expanding too much. I will store this bag in the space between the passenger seat and the dinette seat.

It's challenging and exciting to be able to fit all of my possessions into such a small space.

What do I really need? What can I do without? What will I miss?
I did not miss anything when I was traveling in the coach for 5 weeks in June and July.

What will I gain?   "Wide Open Spaces......."

I want to leave NOW.  Of course, I'm not ready - still packing up stuff to donate and my daughter is coming in from Colorado on October 3rd to help me pack the things that will be shipped to her house.

So now I am hoping for someone to fall in love with my house, someone who likes to garden and someone who needs an extra large garage for puttering around in. Small house, big yard. The great outdoors.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Underneath, Above, Behind and around everything
Every single nook and cranny

Pulled Weeds

Wish me luck, my house is officially "FOR SALE".

Sunday, September 11, 2011


copyright 1/7/2006   JGS  Night & Day Studio

Pray for our Country,
that this 10th Anniversary
will bring us together again,
as we did on that fateful day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My 2006 - 5 year plan

"They always say time changes things,
but you actually have to change them yourself"
-Andy Warhol

Continuing with yesterday's theme -
While sorting papers yesterday, I came across my 5 year plan, written in 2006.

Some of the items I wanted to do, are still on my "TO DO" list. Things I should have finished, but did not.
My notes talked of taking a sabbatical, an extended leave of absence, taking a break from "income tax work" and figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.

The items left unfinished are: 
-Clean out basement and office storage, sell anything that we don't need. (I'm working on it)
-Figure out when we will move and where we are going.
-Expand the photography/art business.
-Lose weight, be more active (I'm working on it).
-A list of home repairs/upgrades (several items have been done recently)

Things I did accomplish:
- Sell our Income Tax business (sold January 14, 2008)  

- Research and buy a vehicle we can keep more than 100,000 miles with a good warranty. In April 2009, we purchased a new 2008 Hyundai Veracruz with a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty. (This vehicle will be sold next month, I thought I would keep it for a very long time........ but things change.)

- We only need one vehicle. Sell the pickup truck (actually I gave it to my daughter) and cancel the lease on the Envoy. (I will only have one vehicle - the Coach)

I wanted to simplify my life, get rid of stuff, work smarter, own only one car and travel more.

The following is an interesting note I wrote at the bottom of my 5 year plan, in 2006, before the world started to crumble.
     "I have a strong feeling that the economy, government, taxes, banking, etc. are in for a big change. If I don't sell the business soon, it may not be salable in the future. I really feel that we need to start making some big changes."

The mortgage scandal and economic downturn really messed with my financial projections, house values are very low.  I am not going to let that stop me from moving forward. I don't know when the financial world will rebound and I am not going to sit around and wait. I'm going to move forward with my plans and adjust my life and find ways to grow my retirement funds, work at seasonal part-time jobs and see what happens.

No Regrets..... Keep Moving Forward........

Friday, September 9, 2011


If you wait for 
you will
get anything done.

I have always been a procrastinator, I hate it. I always seem to wait 'til the last minute to finish something. I am hoping that this behavior will change someday.

I have set a date to leave in the coach. November 1st. I am not ready, my house is not sold. If I don't give myself a deadline, I won't get out of here. 

I put a countdown widget on the blog. 
Maybe looking at the countdown every morning will help.

I haven't traveled in the coach since July 7th, and I miss traveling in the coach. The coach is parked in the driveway and I have been adding items, taking out things I didn't use and rearranging everything.

I have to leave and make the best of the situation and see where life takes me. So, I am taking off. I'm not sure what I am looking for, or what I will find.

I plan on volunteering and/or working seasonal jobs. I have applied for Summer 2012 jobs in Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. When I get accepted for one of these jobs, then it will be time to plan my route to the state I will be working in.

I will be moving around and sightseeing in November and December and visiting with Diane and Karl for the holidays. Next year I plan to stay in one location for one to four months at a time. A few of the locations have a public transportation system close to the RV sites. When I traveled in June, two of the towns had a bus service that stopped right in front of the RV parks.

I am looking forward to exploring an area and having the opportunity to really get to see everything, without just driving through. Most people only stay a few hours or a day in the National Parks, I will be able to stay for a month or longer and explore the entire area.

I have joined the NOMADS program, they volunteer to help out church groups and different organizations with projects. I did not sign up for any specific projects with them. I have not planned my route for the winter and do not want to be on a schedule.

I am also a member of ESCAPEES, and they have rallies and meetings and activities I can join. ESCAPEES has a mail forwarding service, so I may become a resident of Texas.

I have to choose a state to become a resident of. I need to get my drivers license changed while on the road. The license plate on my coach expires on December 31st. 

I contacted Blue Cross/Blue Shield and they told me I could keep my current health insurance policy, even if I move out of Illinois. This was a big worry, I am glad that I don't have to apply for a new health insurance policy.

I have been planning and making calls, and cleaning and sorting and selling stuff and painting and repairing and so many things ........
but I still have so much more to do............

I'm planning to walk around without a plan.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Breathe, Smile, Relax, Let Go

There is a principle in psychology
that if you do what you have always done,
you will get what you have always gotten.

So, let go and move forward

* * * * * 

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have
and take that step into the darkness of the unknown,
we must believe that one of two things will happen...
there will be something solid to stand on
we will be taught how to fly.

* * * * * 

It is better to believe than disbelieve,
in so doing you bring everything
to the realm of possibility
-Albert Einstein

* * * * * 

You must seek your destiny,
for it will not seek you.

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