Thursday, November 17, 2016


Things have been busy around here! Good news, first. We have a contract on the house! Which, of course, is bittersweet, as I really love my neighborhood and the friends that I have made here! That makes me really thankful for this blog, Facebook, text and email. We can keep in touch by seeing what is going on in each other's every day lives, just as we are living a few houses down the block. We will certainly have to cruise through Denton sometimes, just to say hi!

One of the things that is really making me crazy right now is the need to purge pretty much all we own. Although I have rented a VERY small storage room which is climate controlled, that is basically for the tax records, other records we need to save, a few boxes of momentos (we can't possibly part with boxes of marathon finisher's medals!), and just small stuff. Like my fire department annuals. Who knows? I might want to take a look at those in 20 years!

My rookie photo. I was so young!

A fire we had not too long before I retired. Sometimes I miss it!

While looking for those old fire pics, I had a great time thinking back on those times. I will have to do a post with some of my fire department memories.

So imagine: you have 6 weeks to get rid of all your stuff. We're talking about kitchen ware, glasses, wine glasses, lots of gadgets that never get used, all the stuff in those pesky "junk" drawers! WHAT?!?! Furniture, clothing we don't use, books, bedding... not to mention all the junk in the garage. Why not just have a moving sale, you might ask? Valid question. Unless you are in my HOA. Then you would know we are not allowed to host an event like that. I thought about an estate sale, but the rules actually indicate there needs to be a death certificate....Don't get me wrong, the HOA has really helped to keep the neighborhood from looking junky. I think I will have an "Open House" one afternoon, and then have a "by appointment only" moving sale. Anyone have better ideas? This is happening NOW! Our closing is slated for January 6, but I am hoping to do it on the 9th.

In the meantime, we will be looking for the right RV, one that fits our personality and doesn't need too much work. Our goal is to find a Class A, maybe 10 years old, with low mileage. I think our hope is to be somewhere between 35-38 feet. Looking for one that age, we will certainly need a few updates. Perhaps tires, TV technology, and we want to rip out any carpet and have a hard surface installed. Hopefully, we will be able to install a Murphy type bed in the back, and use that space as an office during the day! We are still working on that possibility.

As functional as the Class C we had was for our trek across the country for Support for Firefighters, Inc., we really need a bit more room to actually LIVE in one! It was cozy, though, and so much fun!

Good times! Sorry, I seem to have no structure on this post! I will sign off now and plan a better post next time.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

For Sale

On the eve of election day, don't worry, I won't even talk about that! Lol... other than to say I am so glad that it will be over. Or at least on to the next version of hate. How have American's gone so far? The hate that I have been seeing on Facebook is astounding. During a time with such a great technological ability to communicate with anyone on the globe, we should be establishing good relationships, and learning how to better understand and get along with one another. This is so sad to me. Recently, I have revisited a series of lectures by none other than Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich).  Some of the most amazing ideas! I find myself listening and wondering how we have gone so far from the American businessman (woman) having integrity, honor, and respect for others. Loyalty is not longer common and easy to find. I really fear for our country, and our world. We were not put here to harbor hate for our fellow man.

<Obviously, I got busy and didn't finish this post before the election results. I am really sad about the backlash. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect, but like everyone else, felt the polls and predictions for Hillary were probably valid. Like everyone else, I was pretty surprised.>

Ok, off my soap box. I have refrained from posting my political views, so why start now?

Bullet point number 2 from the last post. We have listed our home for sale so that we can get an RV and travel the country. Again, but in a different way. In 2014, Jeff was one step in front of another for 103 days. We had to keep a forward progress, or not meet our goal of being at Ground Zero on 9/11. That left him averaging 37 miles per day, with no time off for sightseeing. Periodically, he would pass by something worth looking at, and take some time from his schedule. But there were so many things that we didn't get a chance to see. Places that were too far from our course to visit.

This property for sale!

After spending a couple years back here, we have decided there were places we really wanted to see. And, we really enjoyed the RV lifestyle, although our experience was not common. This time we will do things differently. Stay at one location for maybe a few weeks! Spend some time exploring the area, hiking, or whatever might tickle our fancy. Find out what full-timing is REALLY like! Honestly, I think this is more my dream than Jeff's. But, to his credit, he is happy to give it a shot. Having grown up in a military family, he doesn't stay in one place for very long!

This is one of the places we'd like to revisit. The pine forest in Oregon. Oregon was a wonderful state, and I suspect we will spend quite a bit of time in the Northwest. We never made it to Washington state, either. Or Florida. Or California. Or Montana. Sigh. We have a lot to do!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Where Have I Been?

I have been thinking about starting the blog up again lately, for several reasons. Here is my list:

1. I turn 60 (today).
2. We have our house on the market in order to do a couple thing.... the first would be to buy a used RV and travel the country, taking time to see things this time, and also there is the other plan of perhaps moving to Costa Rica.
3. We have discovered the joys of getting the toxic chemicals out of our home and our lives, and hope that this transition will lead to a longer more healthy life on the road!

Here I am on my 60th birthday, having a FREE Starbuck's after voting. 

Now that the list is out there, I have also realized that part of my hesitation to begin again was simply how time consuming a daily blog really was! Of course, while we were running cross country for firefighters in 2014 with our RV and our non-profit, Support For Firefighters, it was really a daily thing to keep in touch with our friends and the people, like you, who were interested in our wanderings! I enjoyed the process of logging our travels, and am considering a picture book with some blog posts for accent.

So I have bargained with myself, knowing full well it was time to get it going again. My bargain is that I have decided to only require myself to write once or twice a week, and especially when there is something interesting to relate.

In this, my first blog in awhile, I will be talking about bullet point #1. Turning 60. I wasn't even bothered by 40, but 50 was a bigger blip. This decade is scary! I notice so many things that have been easy for me for years, being more difficult. Clothing shrinks much faster! Is this common? Do the threads just get old? Hmmm.... I'll have to work more on that one. Start a diet?

About a year ago, I decided to re-join Jazzercise. This was one of my all time favorite ways to work out and keep in shape. Good aerobic work, balance and coordination, and also some weight work. And, it was always FUN! It took me months to get past all the little aches and pains that popped up! I went to the doctor at one point, sure that I was developing some kind of cyst on my wrist, only to find out I was suffering from tendonitis. Really? But, I love Jazzercise, and still go. I don't get as worked up during class now, and keep it pretty low impact. I notice that when I miss a week, things begin to ache again. This is really disturbing!

Ok, honestly, our lives just change as we get older. Things that I remember my grandmother telling me, or the older guys at the fire station when I was a young rookie, that just didn't make sense at the time, make sense now! Like a lightbulb! Living here at Robson Ranch (for active adults who want a nice resort lifestyle), I have learned a lot more. About being older, and about what actually gets better!

We still have Jeff's father with us, although he is 94. When he turned 90, he jumped out of an airplane for the first time! He was a pilot in WWII, Korea, and even the beginnings of Viet Nam. He had always landed his plane while still in it.

Cal Venable at his 90th Birthday Bash.

The last 4 years have been hard on him. He has lost his wife of MANY years, and has buried a daughter. His other daughters have had other medical issues. Lisa, the youngest daughter, is a most amazing woman! She first was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer a number of years ago. Her faith, and the faith of those surrounding her, have brought her through her cancer several times. It is truly amazing! She has had 2 brain surgeries, and is still going strong!

This is Jeff and I, and his sister Lisa and her husband Steve in Italy a few years ago.
Jeff is still healthy, although he is not running to the degree he was a couple years ago. I know that he misses traveling to races and hanging out with his running groups of friends. I am still healthy, as well. Which is why we have come to the decision to sell our home and travel the country in an RV for a while! Those sorts of things have to be done while still young enough and healthy enough to really enjoy them.

I'll be talking a bit more about that in my next blog. In the meantime, I am having a wonderful 60th birthday weekend, with some awesome friends! Yesterday evening, we had a rendition of our new neighborhood thing called Driveway Drinking at our driveway, in celebration. Honestly, it was MUCH easier than throwing a big party! ;) In this neighborhood, the living areas are in the rear of the home. It is very hard to tell if your neighbor is around, or even sitting on the back patio having a glass of wine! So, one of our very creative ladies came up with the idea of gathering lawn chairs, bringing a beverage, and sitting in the driveway to gather anyone that was available! It has been working famously!