The Gypsy Rose

The Gypsy Rose

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