The Gypsy Rose

The Gypsy Rose

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meowy Christmas!!

Well, sure haven't been keeping this blog updated...going to have to start getting serious soon!  Our Tracie was offered (and accepted) a management position in Idaho Falls, Id!!  God sure put her in the right place for us to regularly visit with her...what with the entrance to Yellowstone Park right there!  We are sooo proud of her for following her dreams and believing in herself.  She will do soo awesome!!  Her personal life is going forward, as well and we are so excited for her!  2011 is going to be The Year of the Tracie!

Willie continues to make us laugh and astound us with his 'dog-like' abilities.  Willie can fetch better than Scooter and also responds to the whistle or clicks.  Scootie Boots is still adjusting to being an 'only dog.' I know that once Pirate is home full time Scooter will truly blossom.  Poor thing is constantly 'on' because when Daddy isn't home, her J-O-B is to protect me.  It's going to be amazing to watch her flourish!

We have decided it's a toy-hauler for us.  We really hope to find a CY 3812 in our price range.  We just need that garage and loft for our storage space.  What were we gonna all the containers in the living room, lol?  The other draw-back will be the TH's only come in Queen beds, so looks like Tracie will be getting our King-size Sleep Number bed. :( for us :) for Trace!

Our beautiful Bella was born a little after 10 pm Monday night.  YAY!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

ACK! We just can't make up our minds!

OK...Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday Bella...hoping she joins the world by tonight!

Pirate and I have been going back and forth...toyhauler, reg 5th with hydralift....we were looking around the garage and...yeah, gonna need to be a toy hauler.  We changed our minds on the model...going to try for a Heartland Cyclone 3812. We really don't need a 2nd bathroom that you can't even stand up in.  Goodness, I just cannot believe how things are coming together.  Pirate asked his boss to lay him off, so we're waiting for him to put together a deal.  Some other issues have been resolved and so we are on the Path!  I just cannot wait to hit the road!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Which 5er?

Da Beast

This weekend Pirate and I will go tour a BH 3670RL (again) and also the BC 3500RL.  We're leaning towards the BH as it has more of a weight capacity, and since we will be using a bike lift instead of a toy-hauler as we had planned, we'll probably end up with the BH.

Things continue to fall into place for us...God is so good and we are so blessed.  We know Boone wouldn't have done well on the road...and that hurts.  BAD!!  But we had wonderful, wonderful years with him.  All but the last two were totally awesome.  Poor kid!

God is the Leader of this journey, and we're cool wit dat!! :)  See you on the road soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

trying out mobile posting

Got the truck...Boone died...catching up with life

We bought a 2008 Ford F-450 SuperDuty Lariat package dually!  Also, Boone passed away on Oct 15, 2010...our Best Big Pal will not go on our so sad.  We now have a cat, Willie, who will join Sister Scooter.  too hard to write right now...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Roll me away....

I just shared Bob Seger's Roll Me Away on FB...gets my heart every time!  I crave getting back out on the's one of those, "If ya have to ask, you'd never understand" things, but it's the whole reason why we're doing the we can ride...and ride...and ride....and ride!  We can have our babies with us, we can have a nice place to rest each night so I can physically still ride...I haven't been on a road trip for quite some time now...not since the 07 round of surgeries.  It's like a huge piece of my soul has been put on hold and slowly it is wilting...there is no other feeling in the world like climbing on back of a two-wheeled rocket and snugging up to my husband, becoming one with man and machine--fluidity, grace, nimble thru the curves...having our own language that has nothing to do with words.  someone please come take care of Boone for me!!  I has a NEED!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I CAN become neat and organized...I CAN!

My Kindle keeps saving my bacon, I swear!  Thanks a million to my two Kindle pals, Tink & Uma, who let me play with their Kindles until I decided it was right for me.  Books and articles on RVing, the classics, poetry, and....a book by Nancy Shelton on organization for "Messies" with a Messies Anonymous (MA) type of solution.  I feel SO empowered!

I don't have people over because of how the house looks...when you can't physically clean...what do you do?  I can't nag and barrage my Pirate to do on MY timeframe...he works all day and wants to relax when he gets home...who doesn't?  I wish I could be a 'normal' house-cat and make our home the haven for him to come home to...sigh!

Well, now I have ideas, a plan, instructions, how-to, no-excuses!!  We keep telling each other that once we move into the 5th, it will be soooo easy to remain uncluttered...everything MUST have a place.  But unless we change our ways now, that trailer will become just as bad.  The book I'm reading calls the basic 'get-out-from under-it" approach of what they do at a large historical site, Mount Vernon.  They keep this site under control by starting with walking in the door, cleaning right there, then walking around the outsides of the room and working in.  How simple, but I needed that motivation.  

Yep, I can't clean a 3 bed/3 bath condo, but I CAN and will clean 400 sft of trailer.  Especially since 12 ft  of it will be garage!  

486 more days to Heaven!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why we chose Heartland--copy & paste from 'The Gypsy Journal' a professional blog about RVing

Sorry about the formating...when you're steal someone else's words, like I am here and hope it's ok.  I am in no way, shape or form the author of the following article I found on Heartland's website.  But, I could not have said it any differently.  Heartland has been treating us like the Pirate & Kitty Sweeties that we are, answering questions that may seem annoying to most, welcoming us to the family before we've even purchased from them...even letting me know I can change and request anything (within reason, I'm sure) my little heart desires.  Take a minute to watch the videos at their site.  Just click on the title, I think, and it should take you to  
Factory Tour

 We always enjoy touring factories and watching how things are made. Over the years we have toured a teddy bear factory, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream factory, the Tabasco factory, a whiskey distillery, and a cheese factory, to name a few. Since Elkhart is the center of the RV industry, we decided to tour an RV factory. 

Heartland Recreational Vehicles is a new advertiser in the Gypsy Journal, and Scott Tuttle in their marketing department had invited us to stop by and take a look at their operation, so we called Scott and arranged a tour while we were in town. Heartland is a new company formed by some veterans of the RV industry who had a vision to do things differently, and Scott told me they were committed to building a quality fifth wheel that was built for the needs of fulltime RVers.

 During our telephone conversations, I had repeated to Scott the statement I have made in these pages and during my seminars at RV rallies across the country, that the biggest problem with the RV industry is the poor quality of most of the RVs on the road. Call me idealistic if you will, but I just feel that when you pay $100,000 or more for a recreational vehicle, the darned thing should not fall apart going down the highway! Scott assured me that Heartland’s new Landmark fifth wheel was a different breed of animal than RVers have been used to. 

We arrived late in the afternoon and spent a couple of hours touring the plant. Having built our bus conversion from the shell up, and having lived on the road in both a production motorhome and now a bus, we have some idea of what goes into today’s RVs. I came away from the Heartland factory impressed by what I saw. These guys have some good ideas that the rest of the industry has overlooked. 

The first thing that we noted was that the exterior wall frames are structurally stronger. Instead of just using a hollow metal channel, Heartland fills the channels with wood for extra strength. 

Another big step forward is the frame design that, coupled with a unique front cap, gives the trailer 30% more turning radius with a short bed pickup with an extended cab, eliminating the “crunch zone,” where so many fifth wheel owners have damaged their trucks and trailers by turning too sharply. This design makes backing and parking the Landmark fifth wheel easier and safer. Maneuvers that would jack knife another rig are a simple task with the Heartland design. 

The rear fiberglass cap is also a brand new design, with recessed LED tail lights and LED running lights that give it a handsome automotive look. Overall, the Landmark is a very good looking rig. But looks alone don’t make a quality recreational vehicle. 

Scott showed us a lot of other new concepts that I think fulltimers are really going to appreciate. The rig is built to hold up under the rigors of fulltime use. It’s not going to fall apart like our Fleetwood motorhome did after a short time on the highway. The floors are solid, welds are top quality, it’s built on a strong frame, and they don’t cut corners to get one more unit out in a day. 

The electrical system and plumbing are well designed, with a water manifold that allows the owner to shut down any line in the event of a problem. But with direct runs and quality components and installation, a lot of the problems people see in RVs should be eliminated right from the start. 

Inside, they have included a lot of good ideas. Drawers and storage are well thought out, the furniture is well above the standards for the RV industry, interior design is attractive and comfortable, and the unit is roomy inside with its three slides. All models are prepped for washer/dryer installation, have hard maple bedroom furniture with cedar lined closets, residential sized drawers, and 6’4” ceilings in the bedroom. A lot of the things that are an option on the competitors’ RVs are standard equipment on the Heartland. 

Down below, storage is fantastic, with what Heartland calls its “Texas Storage” compartment, over 141 cubic feet accessible on three sides by 48” wide insulated doors. The bay has a flat floor with no obstructions for complete pass thorough access. The bay also has large sliding access panels for utility maintenance. The bays are floored with thick rubberized mats to resist stains and tears. A door side power center features a non-corrosive dual slide-out battery tray and quick battery disconnects. 

One nice touch is that all compartment doors are specially keyed, instead of using the generic keys other RVs use, so owners don’t have to worry about anyone in the campground being able to unlock their storage bays. Throw in a host of other neat features, including a black water flush system, exterior security lights, a satellite TV hookup, CAT-5 high speed wiring for computer Internet access, a safe in the bedroom closet (not in the floor, but in the side where it can be easily accessed), blackout day/night shades, and Corian countertops and the result is a recreational vehicle that I believe fulltimers will really appreciate, and one that I think is definitely several steps above most of what is on the market today. 

Here is another article, from last summer:

 Factory Tour 

In over eight years of publishing the Gypsy Journal, we have accepted advertising from only one RV manufacturer, Heartland Recreational Vehicles. This is not because other manufacturers have not approached us, but we’ve seen very few whose quality and customer service meet our own standards. If I would not personally do business with a company, I cannot in good faith accept their advertising. In my view, doing so would be an endorsement of that company. 

I will admit that I was skeptical of Heartland when they first contacted us, but Scott Tuttle, their Vice President in charge of marketing, convinced me that they are a company dedicated to producing top quality products, and we have enjoyed a good working relationship for several years now. 

We have watched Heartland grow from a small company of 50 or so employees to a major contender in the towable RV market, with a workforce of over 600 people. RV Business magazine reported in their May 2007 issue that in a recent Statistical Surveys, Inc. survey of the top 45 fifth wheel brand names, 30 lost market share. Of those who showed a gain in market share, most were small, or single digit gains. However, three brands achieved triple digit gains, and all three were Heartland products. Folks, that only happens when a company is committed to putting out top quality products and providing top quality service after the sale. 

Recently Scott Tuttle took me on a tour of their newest production facility, where they are producing their new North Trail travel trailers. I was very impressed! The construction methods, standard features, and Heartland’s attention to detail are first rate. The North Trail features many things you’d expect to find in an upscale fifth wheel, including a crowned roof that promotes water and debris run off, to keep the roof free of standing water that can lead to mold; extra large outside pass-through storage, a laminated roof with all aluminum trusses that is the strongest in the business; two inch think aluminum framed sidewalls (as much as twice as thick as the competition); and dual axles that are positioned far enough apart to provide maximum stability, not only when parked, but on the highway as well. And these are just a few of the reasons why Heartland continues to grow and to enjoy such a great reputation for owner satisfaction. 

If I were ever going to have a towable RV, be it a travel trailer, toy hauler, or fifth wheel, my first, last and only choice would be a Heartland product. I was so impressed with the new North Trail line that I asked Scott to loan us one of their trailers for a trip to Alaska one of these days. Wouldn’t that make for a nice trip north?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I LOVE Heartland RVs!

As if I wasn't already sold on this company...they just keep coming thru!  Every question I ask is answered in a timely fashion, the quality of their product is beyond compare (value of features, quality of materials, price) and they are just darned nice, to boot.  They never ignore me...and I haven't even purchased my Chariot yet!  WOW!  

They are going to let me have the main fabric I prefer, but put the exact shade of surrounding upholstery, too---even though it's not a 'normal' combo.  Leave it to the Kitty to be anything but normal! :)  The black that comes with the Kona decor was just too much--don't want heat-absorbing black...but I love the 'flame' pattern.  How cool!

Things are really coming together, we're finding out info and getting our time-line down....soon after Labor Day weekend 2011, as we have a very, very special wedding to attend on 9-10-11!  :)  After that, it's ROAD TRIP time!  Heck, we can even pull the Gypsy Rose to the church parking lot and not have to drive afterwards...just in case we end up celebrating a bit too much.  hee heee

I just can't explain the pleasure we're getting out of giving away our worldly possessions to our kids.  Amy and Tracers are getting better with the whole idea...we can't take it with us, and we can't throw it all  I got to surprise Miss Tracie with a very cool Harley-Davidson purse that I got at a 'Jerry's Kids' silent auction...paid $150 and it was half off at that!  It should last my sweet girl forever...HD makes the best products, built to hold up to the abuse of riding, etc.  Not that I've ever seen someone carrying a big ol purse on a bike, however.  I personally carry a back-pack, and it serves to keep the things I NEED close to me at all times, plus it's so nice to lean back against.  The Miche bag that I have now is all the purse I'll EVER just change the shell and have a different purse without having to remove the contents and transfer everything to a different one.  LOVE IT!

OK, laugh for the day:  When I came home from the grocery store yesterday, Scooter's toy was caught under my you can see, it didn't stop her from trying!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Now we're talkin'...

Can't wait until Kitty is in the picture!!

Finally, we are totally on the same page.  I think the unknown was really bothering Pirate.  I've been the one doing all the research, as that is 'my job.'  I usually read the info on whatever we are focused on and boil it down to the least he needs to know...guess that wasn't a real great idea in this case. LOL!

I found a great book, the 'Idiot's Guide' for RVing...found out the real deal as far as keeping our weight down--the 5er, not ours, LOL!  We aren't going to have a whole lotta weight left...yikes!  Pirate is already prepared to take the kitchen, tools, and gotta have more tools.  You can do anything with the right equipment, right?  We're only going to have slightly less than 5000 lbs to work with, and full tanks can weigh 1500 lbs all by themselves.  The bike is over we really NEED to take that Traeger, Dear?  And your tool tower-stand...and...and...we'll be so heavy in that garage that folks will call our rig Sparky!

Well, since we have such a long time before we have to get seriously serious about all of the details, we have time to wean him down...I hope.  That first weigh-in is going to be a real eye-opener!  And no, we won't travel with a full fresh-water tank unless we plan to boondock (camp without hookups).  But 60 lbs of LP (propane) will weigh 240 lbs all by itself!!

We are so lucky that we won't have to deal with making our own water--WOW, my dear, sweet friends who sail have to deal with that issue on a regular basis...and deal with the salt.  I have even more respect for my K2 and her Capt'n now that I understand the lifestyle better.  What troopers!  And we won't have to carry our own water purification plant, won't be without fresh water and good old electricity very often on dry land.  But it is so interesting how similar the RV life is to the Marine way of life.  No wonder our big rigs are called 'Land Yachts!'

Everyone keeps asking us where we're going to go first...we just say, "Anywhere we want!"  But we've been thinking where our 'shake-down cruise' should be, and we're thinking Arizona, where we have dear friends we can go visit for an extended stay.  Our dear, dear riding buddy is building a house in Tuscan, and he's a gear-head, Harley-riding, retired boilermaker whose middle name should be McGuyver!  We figure if anything goes wrong along the way, Richard can 'make it better!'  Also have a fellow Harley-gypsy living in Mesa, AZ that we'll spend time with....and what better fun than to load his bike in the garage and take him a few days or so out, then have Pirate ride half-way back with him while I hold down the fort! Can't wait!!!!

I had Pirate re-watch the videos on the Heartland website...he was going to buy a pressure washer---why?  The rig comes equipped with one on the outside--with hot and cold water to boot!  He forgot about all the bells and whistles the Road Warrior comes with.  A call to our local dealership and we found they won't be stocking the 395 RW...they prefer the Cyclone (because it's about $20k more than the RW series) and tried to talk us out of it. Just told him that IF they get one in, call us.  Otherwise, we will be ordering in probably Feb-March...maybe Dec if the deals are that much better to relieve them of their inventory off a lot, but doubt it.  RW is a new line, with 2010 being their first year.  That's ok, I found out I can order exactly what I want, right down to my own hybridized decor.

It's kinda weird to think that by next Mother's Day, we'll be all but!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

....he's IN!!

YAY!  It just took Pirate finding some information out!  Contacted some people he had on his 'to-do' list, found out how much Soc. Sec, etc...NOW we have good numbers to work with.  Rving is out best option, even if we didn't travel! :)

The Schnauzers are lively this morning...Boone is feeling better and has had a good 4 days in a row of no tummy upset, good glucose numbers!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You're either IN...or you're OUT!

Well, my Pirate is really not doing so great...worry, worry, worry.  I understand that--he's responsible for his Bride and his two furry pals!  But the vacillating is beginning to wear on me.  I don't know how to make it better.  I don't know what we would do if one of us had a medical catastrophe...I don't know if we'll use up all of our nest egg or otherwise run out of money.  All I can do is trust in God--He has never, ever let me down or left me in danger.  I trust that He will guide us (ya has ta ask, however).  All I DO know is that I love this man more than I could ever express and want to spend the rest of my life with him.  It matters not where or how.  I could live in a tent and be happy as long as I have him at my side.

If you worry about a thing and it doesn't happen, you've suffered for nothing.  If you worry about a thing and it DOES happen, you've suffered twice.  Should you walk around with your eyes closed behind rose-colored glasses..NOPE!  God helps those who help themselves.  But what if Job had worried--God is going to send horrible things to test me, and then He did...could Job have born suffering twice?  I don't know, but I'm glad he spent his time praising God for the abundance in his life...and even when tested, he didn't blame God.  May God shed a portion of Job's grace on the Cozarts today! :)

In the mean time, I've got this picture on my desktop---so I can stare at MY kitchen, lol!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Long and Windy Road....

My Heavens!  It's nasty outside!  I have no idea how bad the gusts are, but they have to be over 50 mph, as we regularly get 35-40 mph wind here in Tri-Cities.  INSANE!!

It's interesting to see the different reactions from friends and family to our decision to RV full time.  Even our own reactions are different depending on the day!  I know it will be an up-and-down thing, especially for Pirate.  He has worked every day of his life since age 11--how is he going to cope with 'not being productive?'  He woke up in the middle of the night the other morning...gripped in fear.  Is this going to work, is it the right decision, what about insurance for my Kitty, what, what if, what if...He is so protective (that's who he is, a Protector) that it's natural for him to be hesitant.

We know we won't be bored, there is so much daily maintainence involved in Rving...he can also pursue his hobbies in The Clubhouse.  Take off on Rosie the Road Glide, take a bicycle ride around the campground, take off in the truck and explore...but the daily feeling productive, that's going to be an issue for him.

Gosh, there just isn't any way around health insurance.  We will just have to plan trips to Yuma, AZ...or across to Mexico.  Also, since he served during war-time, he will get VA bennies...ahem, he needs to check into that...ahem...  but only Pirate can calm his own fears and worries.

Just found out it would take only 8 weeks to custom order our RW 395 from Heartland...very cool.  We were worried that if it would take months, how do we fit that into our schedule, etc.  If we have to order, it will be because we won't want all the options, and most RW 395's (the few out there) are fully loaded off the RV lot.  Unless we find a great price, we're not gonna pay an extra $5000 for the super-duper generator, don't need the rear-facing convertible sofa in the garage area, do want hitch cover, electric awning, stabilizer jacks, etc.

We've also been discussing what do we want to do at the END of our adventure?  Right now, we feel we could park the Gypsy Rose and just live in her at the end, but after 10 yrs, we may decide different.  Just can't  plan for everything! :)  Who knows, we may be out 2 years and run into unforeseen somethings that change the game?! The unknown is part of the attraction!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Just Give it Away....Give it Away....

...and a great Sunday to all!  Yesterday Pirate took some things over to Heather and Manix...took his Little Pupper, too!  Scooter Boots is doing so great being Daddy's Hangout Pal.  She is very patient while waiting in the truck, and was a Super Good Girl over at H & M's...even with all the puppy distractions.  

Scooter is still GLARING at me..she KNOWS it's my fault that terrible noise occurs, LOL!  I've made so super nice friends over at, and there is even a DVM on the Pet Forum.  Seems this product, if it's going to work, is the most humane device on the market.  I did read at the PetSafe website that sometimes crinkly plastic will set it off, but so far, no problems.  Our neighbors across the courtyard tried it, and it didn't work for them...darn!

Well, my Tracie is on the Laters, Gators!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PetSafe Bark Controller RAWKS!!

WOW!!  I keep saying WOW because this little device keeps working!  Scooter the Potty Mouth Schnauzer only ripped off 3 barks before she shut it down...not a PEEP from her since!  The machine lets them 'get away with' one or two yips, but that's it.  Poor Boone, but thanking God Scooter is a fast learner.  Whew!

It was only $49/$45 with PetPerks Card from they won't run us out of camp! YAY!

Here's to a wonderful, sunshiney, barkless day!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cooking & Shopping...or "How to Untrain your Housecat"

Think about all of the 'extra stuff' that you have in your pantry right now.  The stuff you bought because it was on sale $5 for 10, or the old, "I'll need this to make that recipe when I feel better."  We are trying to eat only from our pantry until we get it dwindled down to a more manageable level.  We're going to start shopping, cooking, doing laundry and cleaning as if we are already on board the Gypsy Rose.  This way, I can start figuring out how to cook for 2 with no leftovers...Tony won't be there to take them off our hands!!

I am also going to challenge myself to use only cash, even grocery shopping.  Groceries have been our biggest expense lately, (gee thanks, Uncle Obama and Aunt Gregiore) so we'll see how we do.  Winco, Grocery Outlet, Farmer's Exchange on Weds...Pasco Market on Sats...this is what we intend to do on the road...fresh veggies at stands and markets, supporting the smaller guy--helping out our poor, over-taxed, under-appreciated hard working American farmers and growers.  I am also challenging myself to only buy American!

I love that our truck-to-be and our RV-to-be are 100% American.  One thing we really appreciated about our Toyota was that it was made in Cali...but the parts were all Japanese.  We get to choose how to spend our hard-earned dollars, and I think China has had enough of mine!  On the road, if I don't bake my own 'goodies' I plan on buying them from bake sales at schools we encounter, market stalls in the farmer's or flea markets we stop at...if we can help a kids' group and get a sweet treat...AWESOME!! :)

Yep, I think this 'old Kitty' can learn a new trick or two! 

Boone keeps telling Scooter there won't be enough room in the RV for HER toys...only his!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


 Good Grief, we have a lot of CRAP! LOL!  I've really been on the "sorting of the stuff " this week...I'm kind of surprised that it's harder than I thought it would be on our oldest, Amy.  She still hasn't had enough time to process all of these changes.  That's so interesting, that making a life-decision effects so many other people.  It's something very important to realize before making a decision as drastic (to some) and freeing (to us) as dumping your entire house and living in a 40 ft portable chariot-hauler.  In the long run, the kids will get more enjoyment and more happiness from the items they 'inherit' by receiving them while we are living...but Amy said this makes her so sad...aww!  I don't want her to be sad!! :(

I guess it's harder on her because she lives so far away (Bellingham) and Tony & Tracie are here in the same city.  Heck, Tony only lives 2 blocks away!  So the two T's get to be more of a part of it...Amy, you are so important to Dad and I!!  I'll bet this way we get to spend MORE time with ya, Hon.  We can just park near your house, you and Pops can take off on the Road Glide while I watch all the pups! :)  I know, ANY change takes time to get used to it.

Every story that we've read about getting an entire household into a 40 ft space says we will pare it down to the bare bones, then go weight the rig...and find we still need to take less!  Our goal is to come in under-weight on the FIRST scale-stop!!  We'll see how we do.

I am going to keep my Kitchen-Aid, but instead of taking a blender, I'll look for a multiple machine that you switch it up and it's a blender, a food-processor, etc.  I'm glad we got our little "motor-boat," as Emeril calls it, blending has a ton of attachments, but isn't powerful enough, IMHO, to do the job of a 'real' blender.  We are starting to cook like we're on the road, too.  And grocery shop...everything!  I want to get used to cooking without having left-overs...get my timing and temps down.  I've never cooked on a gas stove-top, so THAT should be interesting, too!  :)

It's going to be hard on us to leave the kids...that will be the hardest part of the whole adventure.  Tracie and I have never been apart...nor Tony and Pirate.  Thank the good Lord above for all of the communication tools we have available to us now-a-days!!  

We are REALLY going to miss this little girl the MORST!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I found the BEST sandals....

Rafter Sandals
$14.99 @ Sportsman's

These are SO comfortable!  Regular flip-flops just kill me between the toes...these are made of cloth!  These sandals are so comfortable, they almost feel like wearing slippers!  And they are made to be worn in the water...SWEET! :)  

It's amazing, but for the first time in my life I feel focused, excited by having a goal.  I had always heard the advice:  You can do anything if you see it from the end...and it's TRUE!  Saving $ is easy now, too!  I can eat a plate of beans now in trade for a sunset off Key West!  Choices!!  It's all about choice.

Sunday I did give Miss Tracie her cookbooks, and it felt SO GOOD to give them to her.  I'm glad we are giving the kids their 'treasures' now, so there isn't a sadness surrounding the items.  The kids won't have to say, "Yes, I got this when my Dad died, or I received this when Mom passed."  The best part is the way it makes Pirate and I feel to give.  It makes us so happy to make the kids happy, so it's a win-win-win-win!!

Pirate and I have been so inspired by a young couple in our lives that we call 'our kids.'  We didn't get to raise Heather or Manix, but they are OURS, just the same.  Heather and Tracie have been friends for just forever, and we couldn't love them more if we tried.  Heather & Man have been going to a series by Dave Ramsey on saving...when she told us how much they were able to save, WOW, we were ever put on notice!   We can, and are, going to do that.  

A super-awesome tip I read was to save back 5-10 % of the total value of the TV (tow vehicle) and the 5th into a 'repairs account' each month.  For the first few years, we more than likely will not need to use any of this money, but should a major repair be needed, we shall be covered.  This weekend we are going to spread out the financials and get a honest look at the big picture, make our plan, estimate how much it will cost us to live full time on the road, etc.  Don't want to just 'leap into the abyss' and struggle.  No more letting life just happen--we are in charge of our destiny...and it feels SO good to have a plan, a goal...wonderful! :)

Time to get busy and get these Schnauzies walked and settled down.  Can't remember what movie it's from, but there's never been a truer statement:  Cuz ya gotta have goals!

The Kitty

Monday, April 26, 2010

Meet the Pups

This is our (almost) 7 yr old diabetic, Boone

Our Little Rescue Girl Scooter 3 y/o

Aren't they just the sweetest Schnauzies you've ever seen?  Unless, of course, you have your own--or I should say...are owned by one!  Schnauzers are so sweet, smart, loving, and they love to play jokes on their owners.  Sometimes people see these dapper little guys and think, Oohh, I want one! --but they don't research the breed.  IF you think you want one, know this:

Miniature Schnauzers CRAVE their people like an addict craves their drugs.  You simply CANNOT leave a schnauzer alone for long periods of time or they will die!  If not literally, they will die inside.  This is how this breed gets it 'yappy' reputation.  I am so lucky to be home with mine and spoil and lavish attention and love on them 24/7.  Please consider this if you are thinking about a schnauzer!!  It can make the difference between a happy, healthy pal or a nervous, mentally out-of-control mess.  Our Scooter was in just this situation.  She had also never been groomed in her 9 mons of life.  This is a huge commitment to own a schnauzer...they need grooming every month for their entire lives.  They do not shed like most dogs, so their hair just keeps growing--including their eyelashes, ear-hair...and when we got Scooter, her feet were so misshapen!  She was literally walking on TOP of her claws.  Time and love have made the difference.

...and honestly, they aren't so great with children unless raised with them from day one.  Just sayin'!

Do not BUY while thousands DIE...rescue or adopt a shelter dog today!

The Kitty

Sunday, April 25, 2010

They say it's your birthday....

The four most precious people in the world--2005

Ahh...everyone should get spoiled on their birthday!  I'm so blessed to be married to such a Sweet Pirate!  Yep, after 11 years, he's still a 'Keeper!'

I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing from all my kids today, playing with the pups, being as lazy or busy as I want to.  Right now, LAZY is winning.  Although, if I were a little more ambitious, I'd be working on the 'give-away' items I've been stuffing into our loft above the dining room here in the condo.  The pile just keeps getting bigger and bigger!  I am going to give Tracie some treasures today...mainly my cookbooks.  I've been writing notes to her in them ever since she started writing 'notes' to me in my big one.  When Tracie was just days old, my Mom brought me the coolest, handiest cookbook I've ever owned.  It's actually an Encyclopedia on Cooking.  Little Missy scribbled in it when she was a toddler, and that's what made me think to write notes to her!  I hope all mothers out there think of is truly a treasure for the recipient.  My Mom started doing the same for Tracers, too.

Parting with items has been easier than I thought...for me, at least.  We'll see how Pirate feels about it all once he gets down to it.  Of course, knowing that most of the 'heirlooms' (to us, anyhow) will be taken by the kids helps alot.  I was most worried about the dresser my Dad built out of cedar for my Mom when they were newlyweds.  Thanks, Tracie!!  Tony and Amy will get a bunch, too.  Dining table, furniture that was Pirate's Grandfathers...  I'm glad we are starting so early...can't imagine having to dump a houseful of treasures in a short THAT would be scary!

Beautiful weather out there today!  I suppose I should probably do some dirt-digging outside...we'll see how lazy I feel later, hee hee!

The 45 y/o Kitty

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Here's a link to our 'Gypsy Rose!'

Heartland Rvs

Good Morning!!  One more day until my birthday...Pirate will be the official 'mother' to the Schnauzies ALL day tomorrow (The best gift!).  Although last month, I did purchase my Kindle Reader--LOVE it!  Thanks for the early birthday present my Beloved Pirate!

Yesterday, Pirate went to lunch with a dear friend, and his fortune cookie had this to say:  Travelling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness.  How cool is that?!  We are having my birthday dinner at PF Changs tonight--can't wait to see what my fortune cookie says.

I included a link to Heartland see the model we will be purchasing, once at the site, under products, choose toy hauler, then Road Warrior, then floorplan and gallery, then RW 395.  You will see why we are so excited!  That garage with the 2nd 1/2 bath is going to hereby be known as "The Clubhouse."  This will be Pirate's sanctuary!

Running on spotty wifi today, so I'll close for now...someone got any ideas for keeping up with friends and relatives who do not have internet access?  Thanks in advance!

The Kitty

Friday, April 23, 2010

Starting to start to get ready to start

Hey, all my friends and family...included the extended ones! Probably won't have too much to say a first, as we are not planning on leaving the 'stix & brix' until Summer 2011. But as I deal with nuisance neighbors, calm the dog from barking at the seems it can't get here soon enough!

Our Plan:

Buy a Dodge 2010 Ram 3500 short bed crew cab turbo diesel truck, then buy the Heartland RV Road Warrior toy hauler model 395. Hit the road!

We will be traveling with our two Service Dogs...Boone is 7 in May, and Scooter was just 3 in November. They are both Miniature Schnauzers, with Boone being our 'natural born' furkid and Scooter, a rescue we acquired when she was 9 months old. (sad, sad story I'll tell sometime when I'm bored)

We have 3 grown children, no grandbabies yet. We are both in fairly good health, although I do have a disabling nerve condition and several orthopedic issues. We have always taken road trips on our Harley, but hate leaving behind the Schnauzies. We had always thought--side car! Yeah, side-car, that's the ticket. Wrong! Our male, Boone, developed Type 1 diabetes last year and is now 95% blind with cataracts. He needs constant 'Mommy attention.' And since he is a seizure alert dog, I need his constant attention, too!

We are very fortunate to have a buyer for our condo who is on our same time frame.  We won't have the usual worries of realtors, commissions, and the headaches associated with all the negotiating.  We have a nice long window in which to unload the treasures and baubles we have acquired this far...lots of time for the hard choices of keep, give, sell...But every thing we take costs us weight and fuel, so it has to be either very special or very vital. :)  Our youngest will be very happy to learn that I actually threw away some raggedy dog toys today.  And yes, Tracie, it DID hurt! LOL!

Thanks for signing on to our journey and hope we get to see you along the way!  Happy Trails!

The Kitty