Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Lemon Fairy Arrived

Lemons NOT oranges.
The lemon fairy, Margie, stopped by my house today while I was out biking and left me my portion of lemons.  See she has a secret stash tree, somewhere in this park and won't tell me.  That's okay though 'cause as long as they keep showing up why do I need to know where the secret tree is.  LOL

These lemons are not your typical grocery store lemons.  The are very juicy, not as tart and make yummy lemon drops.

Thanks Margie.


A Year of Reflection

Christmas day 2009 is what I consider my first year on the road as a full-timer.  Yes, I retired in September but I consider the day I pulled out of Etowah TN as the beginning of my "new" life.  I have put 8897 miles on Somewhere and stayed in 22 different parks and 2 non-parks.  I stayed in Camping World parking lot and Suncoast Designers parking lot for a grand total of 3 nights.  You can see that I'm not much for Walmart or Flying J's lots type traveler.  That may change when I head West or North or in some other direction but I just didn't feel comfortable doing that during this first stage.  My confidence has increased so now that I know the intricacies of Somewhere I may do more of that some day.

As I reflect on 2010, I learned a lot.  I learned:
  • to be sure to turn my auto headlights off of my tow vehicle when I travel.
  • to check my battery fluids more consistently to preserve battery life (that was an expensive one to neglect.)
  • to stick with my original plans of not traveling too many miles in one day.  Enjoy the lifestyle.
  • to enjoy people for who they are and not have too high expectations in others.
  • to relax and realize I'm not on vacation and I don't have to be busy every day I'm on the road.  The road is my life now.
  • to realize how important it is to stay in touch with old/new friends.
  • to not get in a hurry when tearing down and setting up.  Thank people nicely who want to help by saying "thanks but I've got it."  Otherwise I will invariably forget to do something.
  • that 400 sq ft is just right for one person.
  • that things on the road are a lot more expensive than I originally planned.
I'm sure there are other things I've learned but my memory isn't what it used to be.

I didn't do everything I had planned my first year but I figure that the NE will be there and it can go back on the bucket list.  Family is more important than my schedule.  My second year is not as planned out as my first.  Since this is my lifestyle, it's not important to do everything so quickly, I don't have to be back in 2-3 weeks to go back to work.  I've learned to stop and smell the roses.

I cherish the people I've met along my journey whether they are next door neighbors or neighbors I've not met yet, but know them through this blog and the women rv forum.

I've done a lot more reading and less watching TV.  I've done more walking and biking and kayaking than ever.  I don't miss work one bit.

Would I do it again, you bet.  I have never asked "what have I done?"  This is a great lifestyle for the right person.  I am so thankful that I worked to live and not lived to work.  My plans and sacrifices I made along the way to my retirement life was well worth it.  I would do it all over again.

Thanks to everyone who supported me along the way.  Just going to name a few of my supporters and if you don't read your name it's not because I don't recognize you for what you have done to help me along the way but it would be like one of those speeches at the Oscars, I'm sure I'll leave someone out and the music will start playing.  So here goes, Jonathan, Taylor, Theda, Randy & Debbie, Margie & Roger,  Becky, Cindy, Roy, Chad (my financial advisor), and all my other peeps.  I love you all!! 



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas (1 day late)

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas, I sure did.  I loved waking up to a white Christmas but was a little nervous about getting from DS, Wanda's, to the main highway.  Here are a few pictures of what it looked like.
Looking at the barn

Wanda and Taylor

Taylor and Jonathan

Looking at the house from the road
There was snow falling until about Eaton GA and then it picked up just south of Cartersville until just south of Atlanta.  It cleared and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way to Davenport.  It took us right at 11 hours to drive straight through.

It sure was good to get to Somewhere, though a little sad w/out Sedona.  It was about 68 degrees when we arrived with the wind blowing so we got quickly out of our sweats and long sleeves and donned our shorts and t-shirts.  Short lived as it got cold later in the evening and the next three days (the amount of time Jonathan & Taylor will be here) should be very cold.  After that it's back up in the high 70's.  Ok, enough of the weather report.  You can always go to the Weather Channel for that info.  LOL

We had a lovely time with all the festivities.  We had a Christmas party at Jerry's where they sang karaoke and howled at the moon.
Jerry King and Jonathan Wilson

Sunset from "King Mountain"
Sunset from "King Mountain"

Christmas Eve is when the Moore Family celebrates Christmas.  Michael (my nephew) and Teri Slack hosted our big family this year.  There were only 47 of us who made it this year.  Roy was working on the RR so his absence was really felt as were others.  It was a great time and seemed to be more relaxed than in previous years.  Thanks Teri and Michael and all your kids who worked so hard to make it happen.
Michael's house

Sisters Shirley and Wanda
Jan and David Slack and Jonathan Wilson

The Swaynes and Charles Slack

Jerry, making up for the night before

Josh and Jacob King (Jerry's kids)

Our Hosts, Teri and Michael Slack

The Food

Logan King and Taylor Wilson

Jenny Swayne & Taylor WilsonJenny got engaged and Taylor will be her Jr Bridesmaid in May

Pajama girls

Wanda & Don Slack (sister)

Jan Slack and Hailey

Wanda and Heath Slack

Rita and Charles Slack

Taylor and Jonatha

My family

Deborah Slack & friend Tim & his boys

Samuel, Faith Ann and Ken Swayne

All the Swayne's

When we left Michael's we decided that it would be best if we had our Christmas on eve instead of Christmas morning.  I got a Nook Color and was thrilled.  It's a learning curve so I'll let you know my review at some other time.

Just glad we made it safely home and everyone is healthy.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Very Difficult Decision

Over the years you have followed along with Sedona and I as we have travelled around.  For a while now Sedona has not been a happy camper.  She has been unsettled and has had difficulty settling into a new environment.  She began exhibiting behavioral issues.  Everytime we move I have seen signs of unhappiness. 

So I made the hardest decisions I've made in a very, very long time.  Sedona is now going to be living with my bff, Theda.  She should be happier in one place where she can mark her territory and it will always be her territory.  Theda is happy as can be as she has been looking for a little furbaby to call her own and she loves Sedona very much.

It will be difficult for me at first as Sedona was a lot of company for me.  Jonathan, my son, said he was more worried about me not having Sedona as he was about me adopting this lifestyle.  He knows I'll miss her too.  The good thing is I'll get to see her and talk to her via Skype she will just have a new Mommy.  I used to call Theda, Mama T, when I referred to her with Sedona, now she will just be Mama and I'll be Mama C or Mama Carolyn.

I just wanted to take this post to share my tough decision and to say I'll miss you very much, Sedona.  I know you will be very happy with your new mama.  xxoo

Holiday's Are Closing In

Nothing much going on around here today.  I arrived in Etowah TN on Saturday after spending some time in Nashville.  While I was in Nashville on Friday I went to Dr Holmes and got my usual blood work done and got the results today.  Everything is good, all my counts went down and he said to continue what I've been doing.  He would like to see me drop some pounds (wouldn't I too) but he was happy that my activity level was up.

Yesterday my nephew Jimmy and his wife, Ann, invited us over for dinner after church.  Their granddaughter, Addyson, is in from PA and their son who is stationed in RI in the Coast Guard.  So that means that Addyson is my great, great niece.  Wow, when you start putting all those greats in front of something, does that mean I'm getting old?  Nah, it's like Jimmy Buffet says, "growing older but not up!"  I can live with that saying.  Anyway it was a great lunch and it was fun to spend time with the Swayne's.

It seems that our family is getting so large (54-57 will be at the Christmas Eve gtg) that you don't get the time to spend with everyone intimately.  So it was good to sit around and find out what's going on with folks.

I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful close family.  Jonathan and Taylor will arrive in Etowah on Wednesday and then they will be heading back to Orlando with me.

In the meantime, I got a call back from Disney who wanted me to be there 12/20, oh that's today.  I told them I was out of town and they said how about Jan 4.  So it looks like I may be employed once again.  Not sure I want to paint faces on little kids in the Pirates of the Caribbean but I may not have a choice.  Spending 6-8 hours a day with little ones is just not my cup of tea but maybe something else will open up by the time I get back. 

I had never watched Pirates of the Caribbean so Jimmy had the 3 movies and sent them home with me as homework.  I watched 2 last night while I was by myself and I now remember what didn't appeal to me when they first came out and I stand by my original thought.  What's so great about Pirates of the Caribbean?

I'll keep you posted if I get to be an employee of Disney.  Oops, I mean CAST member.  I'll have to get the old HR terminology out of my head as Disney has a whole new way of looking at employees.

Tomorrow is candy making day with the girls but trust me, I won't put you through another video of that adventure unless something really, really good happens.  Peanut butter roll will be the candy of the day.  Yummy, just what I need, more sugar.

Missing Somewhere and can't wait to get back.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Came Early

Am spending a few days at Theda's in Johnsonville State Historic Area before I head to East TN for Christmas via Mississippi.  She gave me my Christmas present early so all my readers will enjoy it for many years to come.  Here is an example of what it does.

It's a Kodak PlaySport video camera.  It's films in 1080p HD video and has 5MP still pictures.  It is also water proof up to 10'.  I'm so excited.  I can't wait to go down a water slide and film as I'm doing it.  I told you all you would get tired of this before it's over.  Movies, movies all over.  I may be the next Speilberg.  Nah, but those women at the water exercise classes should be very afraid.  LOL LOL

Baby it's real cold outside.  It's snowing, 24 degrees and the wind is blowing.  That's my report for today.

PS I had to wait to upload this video until I had a better connection.  I must be doing something wrong.  The video was less than 47sec and it's took 54 minutes to upload at high speed.  What's up with that?  So you are seeing the snow 1 day late.  LOL


Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Fireworks at Epcot

Debbie and Carolyn relaxing in the cabana

First flight-Josh, Jacob and Jerry

Taylor, Jacob and Josh

The Kings

Jerry, Josh, Jacob, Taylor and Jonathan

Jacob, Josh, Jonathan, Jerry

Jacob, Taylor, Josh

It's my party!
If you are wondering what's going on with me, I'm staying at my timeshare in Bonnet Creek Lake Buena Vista FL.  It's something that I had to do to use my and Cindy's points before Dec 31.  So I decided to have a celebration of my 1 year full-timing in an RV by staying in a condo.  What??  But I'll tell you it's cold outside.  It's been absolutely beautiful until tonight and now it's freezing, literally!  Should be this cold for tonight and tomorrow night.

Thank goodness for great friends.  Margie is taking care of Sedona.  Sedona is not allowed at the condo so she is staying in Somewhere and Margie is going over and walking her three times a day.  Tonight however, she is staying overnight with Margie.  I sure hope Anne and Buddy don't mind having her over for a sleepover.  Check out Margie's blog for her take on my celebration party.

Nephew Jerry and I just finished with karaoke and fireworks.  He is going for a tour tomorrow and then we will be leaving this beautiful place.  He will fly back to East TN and I'll go back to Somewhere in Davenport. 

Randy Smith

Randy with the Drivers.

Debbie & Randy Smith at Universal

Debbie taking the I Love Lucy test.  She failed.

Trying on Christmas hats.

Pimp Randy

Woody Woodpecker

Randy's at the top of Rock It.

Blues Brothers

Girls just having fun!

Lazy River

Ribs, corn and rice.  Celebration dinner

Camera settings just wrong but here is Margie, Roger and Jonathan

Taylor, Jerry, Jacob

Bonnet Creek Resort

Jerry at Karoke

Jerry and Christine at Karoke.Later...