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, January 28, 2013

Birdy neighbors

Not much going on here. Just enjoying the quiet of the refuge and the mild winter weather.

It is Monday morning and  I am sitting in the RV with all of the windows open thinking about what I should try to accomplish over the next 3 days. I'm usually off work on Mon, Tues and Wed.

It's warm, but it is too windy, so I won't go for a bike ride today.

There are several birds that are carrying small branches. Is it nest building season already?  Sorry, no pictures - just relaxing right now.

I have not put out any bird feeders, I don't want to attract unwanted critters.

There is a row of bushes along the back and side of my site and a few mesquite trees - this is a great place for the birds to hang out. I hear owls at night but haven't gotten a look at the owls, yet.

Anyone want to send me a pair of night-vision binoculars??

This morning I have seen: Altamira Orioles, Green Jays, Mockingbirds and Yellow-fronted Woodpeckers. There are more birds than what I listed, but not sure what they are - or didn't get a good look at them.

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Decided to check the dictionary to see if "birdy" is a word. 
This is not what my post is about, but wonder if some bird watchers aren't a little "birdy"
I meet all kinds of birders and non-birders on the days I work in the Visitors Center.

birdy definition

and birdie 

  1. mod. 
    crazy; strange. :  She acts a little birdy from time to time.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw Hill.
Cite This Source

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Circle of Life

“Each person’s life is like a mandala- a vast, limitless circle.
We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.
We enter a room, and the room is our mandala.
We get on the subway, and the subway car is our mandala, down to the teenager checking messages on her iPhone and the homeless man slumped in the corner.
We go for a hike in the mountains, and everything as far as we can see is our mandala: the clouds, the trees, the snow on the peeks, even the rattlesnake coiled in the corner.
We’re lying in a hospital bed, and the hospital is our mandala.
We don’t set it up,
we don’t get to choose what or who shows up in it.

It is, As Chogyam Trungpa said, ‘the mandala that is never arranged but is always complete.’ 
And we embrace it just as it is.
Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening.
From this point of view, awakening is right at your fingertips continually. There’s not a drop of rain or a pile of dog poop that appears in your life that isn’t the manifestation of enlightened energy, that isn’t a doorway to sacred world.

But it’s up to you whether your life is a mandala of neurosis or a mandala of sanity.— Pema Chodron

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RV - TV show

Just saw this on Facebook - 


RV Owners: Major TV Network Wants to Hear Your Story!

Major cable TV network is currently seeking RV owners for an upcoming
pilot. If you live in any type of home-on-wheels and love the open
road, we want to hear from you! Seeking all personalities and
lifestyles. Whether you have a unique story to tell, or have an RV
like no other, please tell us a bit about yourself by emailing:

Is this "good" or "bad" - more publicity about the full-time RV lifestyle?  Last year the media ran stories about the Amazon workampers.

Are more people taking to the mobile lifestyle because of the economic problems? Seems like there are younger families taking to the roads.

It is possible to make a living, self-employed, using technology (although I think that mobile internet still has a long way to go)  and families are homeschooling.

Other bloggers have posted about society going back to a mobile lifestyle. Are we like those that traveled west in covered wagons, searching for a better life? 

Are RV'ers pioneers? Searching for change, a way to overcome the problems of today.

I wonder what retirees think of all of this.  Those that stuck it out with the same job for 30 or 40 years and saved and saved and have decent retirement funds and now travel in an RV as snowbirds or maybe as full-timers.

Things are different for the younger families. Medical Insurance is not a free benefit any longer. There is no incentive to stay with one company for 30 years - no vesting in a pension annuity for staying for 20 or 30 years like the big companies and unions used to pay out.

It will be interesting to hear the stories and to see what others are doing and why.  What pushed them to go ahead and try this lifestyle? What are the benefits and what types of problems have they encountered along the way.

Would like to know if any of my "blogging buddies" are interested in going on TV.  I would not, I don't think my story is quirky enough for TV.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A few hours of sun

A mostly sunny day and I did not have to work today.

Went for a bike ride on the entrance road to the refuge.

Saw a few birds, but they moved so fast I could not identify them. I want to take a bike ride around the 15 mile Bayside Loop, so I am riding on the road to build up to 15 miles, did a little over 6 miles today. Will add a mile or two every few days.

15 miles is not a long ride, but its been about a year since I have been riding my bike. I really need to upgrade this bike. I have a basic bike without any gears/speeds and it has coaster brakes.

The sun was short-lived.

Now, we have warnings for severe weather starting Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. The weather service is predicting thunderstorms, high winds, hail and possible tornadoes in the Rio Grande Valley and coastal areas.

I hope this weather system fades before it does any damage. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Where to next?

I have agreed to stay on this refuge until the middle or end of March, I do not really have a specific end date. They asked me to stay as long as I can. My daughter lives a short distance away, so I don't mind staying here.

Today its cold, rainy and very windy. Today's plan was to ride my bike around the refuge - instead I am staying inside, searching on the internet and looking at maps, trying to figure out where to go and what to do for the rest of the year. 

I have applied online for a few jobs and hope to hear back from them this week, now that the holidays are over and everyone should be back at work.

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When I turned on the radio this morning, the very first song was "I Hope You Dance" by  Lee Ann Womack.

My late husband and my daughter danced to this song at her wedding, he really liked this song.  I really hate typing "late", but I have been confusing some people when I talk about my husband on this blog or at work, etc. I guess starting to add this word is necessary and is all part of the healing process......

Back in 2001, the CD was sold in a little book.  I gave a copy of this to him on Sweetest Day 2001. It is one of the items from the house that I keep in the RV.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance ... I hope you dance
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin'
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin'
Don't let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the chance to dance
I hope you dance ... I hope you dance
Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back at their years and wonder
where those years have gone.
I hope you dance  ...  I hope you dance
I hope you dance.

So, where to next???

I have decided to stay in Texas in 2013.  It's a HUGE state and there is a lot to see here.  Since 1999, my daughter has lived hundreds of miles away. Although we send texts every day and call each other often, its not the same as living in the same town.

South Padre Island is my kind of town, easy to get around on foot or bike and they have a free city bus that goes around the Island and also goes across the bridge to Port Isabel. I will be able to enjoy time with my family and be a beach bum or maybe get a job - and I may look into some type of self-employment opportunity again.  

I will probably travel around Texas in my RV for a month or so, after March 15th, before deciding if I will settle on the island for awhile.   My dad is talking about a train ride from Chicago to San Antonio to visit us.  

I may head over to Rockport in April, it is still my favorite "Texas Coastal Town".  I'm looking for more small towns like this - with RV parks in or near town, for walking around town or to bike a mile or two to town.  If you have traveled through any towns like this - please leave a comment, Thanks.

State parks and places out in the country or the middle of nowhere have their place in the RV lifestyle, but I have discovered that I am happier if I can get out and explore the small towns and cities on bike or foot.

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And, yesterday, I bought some lumber and a long "piano hinge" to start on my bed/storage box project for the RV.  Hopefully I will have some pictures soon.

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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