January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Monday, December 28, 2009


Terri and Steve's family room decorated out for Christmas

This picture was taken Christmas Eve at Mom's house. There is Leonard in his Christmas Cowboy hat, great-niece Siani, my daugther Terri, top of the head of son-in-law Steve and grandson Justin.

Well, I had been feeling quite run down starting about two weeks ago. I thought I was just being lazy. I managed Christmas Eve service at Terri's church as Steve was singing a solo. He has an outstanding voice and many people have commented on it since. After service we went across the street to my mothers for snacks.

We had Christmas morning breakfast at Terri and Steves. Also attending were Steve's mother, Grandson Justin and my ex-husband and his wife. Then we came home to relax a while before going back to Terri's for dinner.
I woke up Saturday feeling really poorly and completely exhausted. We decided a trip to the ER was in order. Seems I have been suffering with some type of flu. They gave me an IV and prescription. I came home and slept rest of day.

Yesterday I debated going to church but since we have so few weeks left to attend, I got up, got showered and we went. I could not stand for the hymns or readings. We did not stay for Sunday School. We came home and I went to bed. There I stayed until our friends Peggy and Bill called to say they were coming over. It is always a pleasure to spend time with them and I am glad their visit forced me out of bed.

Today I took Len to work as I needed the truck to take Lucky for his "procedure". He is not feeling very lucky about this time, I would think.
This afternoon Leonard and I have Dr. appointments to get our medical records and make sure our all meds are a Walmart $4.00 brand. Tomorrow night we will get Charlotte and keep her until Thursday night. A friend of Len's owns a very nice local restaurant. He is treating Len, Charlotte and I to dinner on Wednesday night as his way of saying goodbye for now.
We have many friends and relatives we will miss as we travel and voltunteer. But our return in June is just a short 5 months away.

BTW, I am feeling better today than I have for over two weeks. Those meds must be working.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


As I am sitting here looking out the window at 2 feet of snow, I am reminded this will be our last Christmas living here in NJ and likely our last one in the area for a couple of years. How nice that it is a white one.

The home you see in this picture is that of our friends Gene and Kathy and their two remarkable boxers Max and Candy. We met Gene and Kathy when we joined the local Good Sam Club a few years back. They had been living in their Tradewinds Motor Home but not long after we moved here they bought a park model trailer and had it moved onto their site. You can see their motorhome to the right of the trailer.

We met a lovely couple a few years ago while camping in Virginia. Ursula and Karl were workamping at the KOA in Charlottesville. They said they were fulltime RVers. We had never heard of such a thing. When they told us they had no home but their RV, we were HORRIFIED! That was in May. By that September we had decided to do the same! When we met Gene and Kathy and they said they lived in their motorhome but were still working and not traveling, we thought that to be so strange. Well, here we are living across from them in our fifth wheel for almost a year now! Up until end of September I was still working. Len is working until January 7.

People live so many different lifestyles, seeming strange to others at first. As we move through this life we eventually find that perfect fit realizing that the perfect fit has its own ebb and flow and often changes over time.

This year, Ursula and Karl, after living their dream of workamping in Alaska, gave up the fulltime life and are settling into an apartment. Kathy and Gene moved from their motorhome to a park model and we are about to start our phase of traveling and doing volunteeer work with the NOMADS. Three stories about the ebb and flow of life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What a week it has been

Looking at our back window at our bike seats - snow cones?

I started feeling "run down" last Wednesday or so. By Friday I could hardly get out of bed. I wanted to sleep but had a hard time doing so. Then the coughing started and the sweats. Without getting graphic I will say there were other issues too. Today is the first day I am feeling almost like myself again.

On a happier note, we got the truck back on Friday. Sure does make the husband happy.

We have been hit with a MAJOR snow storm. We have about 25 inches of the white stuff all around us. Len was called in to the prison to plow on Saturday at 2 pm. He got done at 7 am on Sunday. They called him back Sunday evening at 6 and he plowed until 6 am this morning. At 7 he went into the facility to start his regular job for the day. He gets done at 3:30. He just called and said his boss told him to go to his shop, plop his feet up at his desk and go to sleep. If he is needed, they will call him. He said he went to sleep at right after 6 and just now woke up at 8:30. He told his inmates to come get him at 10:30 so he can take them to their lunch.

Since we didn't have the truck, then I felt so bad on Friday, then the snow, then Len working 19.5 hours today - looks like tomorrow is my best shot to get those few gifts bought.

And our cat, Lucky, got Lucky again. He was supposed to go to vets for neutering today. Since there is no way I was going out last night to take Len to work so I could have the truck this morning, Lucky maintains his manhood for one more week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I am so ready

Only 26 days and we are off to our great adventure. I am so ready. Having retired at the end of September, I AM BORED!!! It does not help that we sold my car (thankfully) and unless I want to get up in the cold and drop Len at work at 6:00 am, I am stuck here all day.

Our truck is STILL in the shop. They told Leonard that the engine would be completed yesterday and they will remove the dashboard to install the heater core today. They say we MIGHT get it back tomorrow. I sure hope so.

We have a little bit of Christmas shopping to do. We give gift cards to all the grandchildren in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Grandson in Philadelphia gets cash as he is 22. The only grandkiddies we will actually buy a gift for are Charlotte and Abby. Amy tells me Charlotte wants a bean bag chair. Easy enough. As far as 6 month-old Abby, I just don't know.

We have made doctor appointments to get copies of our records. We also want to make sure our prescriptions are the WalMart $4.00 brand. Len takes blood pressure meds, I take med for thyroid. We both now take cholesterol meds. Also, Len is to take a fish oil supplement and I take Calcium and Vitamin D. Oh dear, do all these medicines come with old age???

On Sunday our friends Tom and Clare Ayers invited us and our mutual friends Bob and Marie Price to dinner at their house. The house looked so festive. We cherish this time with friends whom we will not see again for several months. I do have to remember to take my camera for just such an occasion.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Promise of a job

We are scheduled for NOMADS projects 2/1 to 2/18 in the Rio Grande Valley. Our next assignment is not until 4/25 in Kansas, leaving us lots of time in between.

As Len is retiring from NJDOC at 61 he does not get social security for another year. Since he is, in effect, quitting his current job he is not eligible for unemployment as I was not because I left my job on my own. However, if he is re-employed and earns 6x his weekly NJ benefit rate and then is laid off, he can make a claim for unemployment benefits from back here in NJ. This is all done online.

Lens' sister manages a business that belongs to her son-in-law that does work in refineries in the Beaumont TX area. Len spoke to Sissy two nights ago. They can use him for several weeks in late February and into March as he has years of refinery experience before he met me and moved to NJ.

YIPPEE!! A short term job promise and when it is over, the ability to collect unemployment with possible additional temp jobs down the road. Now, I feel so much better about our financial situation. So it looks like we now know where we will be headed following the first NOMAD project. Putting Leonard to work!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We had to make a decision

We have often talked about "trading up someday" from a F250 to a F450 Ford Pickup. The reason being, a F450 has dual back wheels and had a higher rated towing capacity.

When Len was at the Ford dealership about our truck repairs, he saw the truck salesman we have always dealt with. Jim told Len about a 2008 F450 they have on the lot as a trade in. He could not show it to him at that time as someone had it out with the intention of buying it. But if the deal fell through, he would give Len a call. Well, the potential buyer could not get the financing so we got the call to come look.

We looked at the truck and loved it. There are so many reasons to have a F450. Had we known in 2006 that we would be pulling a Fifthwheel trailer all around the country, this is what we would have bought back then. We seriously considered buying the F450. However, we only owe $8,000 on our current truck. And the loan is at 0% interest. We have often considered just paying it off; but why do that when the money is better left in the bank making a few dollars each month.

With trading in our F250 the cost of the F450 would be $17,000. Not a bad deal. But we would still owe the $8,000. Len was leaning toward trading up. He really wanted that truck. A calmer head prevailed - mine. When he told the salesman no, he came down another $2,000 on the price. Still no. (Lesson learned - NEVER agree to the first deal they offer.)

Considering all, we both know we made the right decision Our truck is able to do the job we need done. It has the tow package that includes the engine brake, a heavier suspension and helper springs. It is able to pull our rig through mountains with ease, even using the cruise control option. AND we are getting a brand new engine and lots of other new stuff installled this week. The old engine never gave us a bit of trouble and is only being replaced because of possible contamination from the coil issue.

Len only has 19 more work days. We have between 30 and 34 more days until we take off. We decided to travel a different route south this time. We usually go the shortest route inland through the Virginia mountains. However, we decided to follow the coast to Florida and then head west. At this time of the year, we have experienced heavy snow in the Virginia mountains. The coastal route is longer, but isn't this what Fulltiming is all about? Taking our time and seeing something different.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A day with our beautiful granddaughters

Daughter Amy, who lives in Northern Maryland, was going to a baby shower up in Brooklyn, NY. at least 2 hours from here. She asked if we would like to meet her at the Cracker Barrel at 9 am over by the Delaware Memorial Bridge and keep the girls for the day. ABSOLTUELY!

This was the first day we had actually spent a length of time with Abby, who is almost 6 months. Charlotte had turned 3 in July. We had a good day with them even though we were beseiged with a cold rain and then snow showers. We visited for a while at Aunt "T's" and uncle Steves. Then to WalMart and back to the fifth wheel. Abby only takes very short naps so was awake except when in the car. Charlotte was her usual curious, talkative self. We appreciate every moment we spend with these precious gifts.

We had planned to take pictures but only remembered AFTER we had delivered them back to Amy at 7 pm. It was snowing and Amy still had a two hour drive home. She reports today they have about 4 inches of the white stuff. We had no accumulation.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A truly precious soul

Yesterday I attended the funeral service of a dear man who for his entire life attended the little church Len and I were married in. He was one of those very special people. In the 45 years I had know Robert I had never seen him without a smile on his face and joy in his heart. Robert loved life and all it had to offer more than anyone I have ever known. The slightest event or conversation gave him great joy. Yes, if I had to think of one word to describe Robert Faubell it would be Joyous.

I have been reflecting on the lessons to be learned from Robert. How lovely it would be if more of us saw life as Robert saw it. He died two days short of his 86th birthday. I will always remember his zest for life, his constant smile and, yes, joy! His family and all who know him will never cease missing him and his smile but the Lord has welcomed a true Saint in heaven this week.

On another note - we got the word yesterday that Ford has decided the contamination from the original problem throughout the truck is more extensive than originally thought. They have authorized installing a new engine, heating system, radiator and who knows what else. Total cost parts and labor - $25,000. THANK HEAVEN still under warranty. So another week to a week and a half before we get the truck back.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Long, long travel day

Terri and Steve arrived shortly before 4 pm. Having left Wytheville VA 12 hours ago we were now just 30 miles up the road. The men loaded the truck on to my brothers car trailer. We had not 2 inches to spare. The weight of the truck caused a hissing noise from one trailer tire. They found a small nail in it. Len went in the gas station and got a can of tire fix. Luckily we also checked the spare and aired it up.

So, off we went. The traffic was still horrendous. Stop and go. Go and quick stop. All the while the brakes on my brothers truck would occasionally overheat. We take it really slow and stay well behind all vehicles as we traveled up and down the Va mountains. About 120 miles up the Interstate, the above mentioned tire blew! There was very little room on the shoulder and Terri and I were more than a little nervous as our men changed the tire. Now we have 300 more miles to travel and no spare. The cars and trucks at this area were now whizzing by at a precariously close distance.

We take off again. About an hour later we stop for some dinner. By this time is was around 8 pm. Fortunately we noticed a lessen of traffic congestion when we got back on the Interstate. We stopped for gas. I went inside to use facilities and got a soda for Len and coffee for me. When I came out, I stepped down from the curb and not looking, tripped over the concrete car barrier. Soda, coffee and Phyllis went flying and skidding across the parking lot. There went my coffee. Today I am bruised and somewhat sore.

Finally we get to the Delaware Memorial Bridge that cross the Delaware River taking us into New Jersey. WAIT! Another traffic backup. This is a 4 lane bridge. Three outside lanes were closed down. When we got to the top of the bridge there must have been 15 police/rescue vehicles. We looked over to see a car parked sideways and a man standing on the bridge railing. This is obviously someone threatening to jump.

So we get off the bridge, go about five miles and find our usual route home was detoured. WHY NOT! At around 3:15 am we get to Terri and Steves. We unload the truck and Len and I take my brothers car and trailer to his house about 25 miles in the opposite direction. We get back to our home at 4:15 am, more than 24 hours since we started this leg of our trip and what should have been a 7 1/2 to 8 hour drive.

Len set alarm for 5:45. We kept one of Steves cars (having sold mine 2 weeks ago). I took Len to work then went to Terri and Steves as Len had already called for a tow to the dealership. The tow driver arrived about 45 minutes later. We are now waiting to hear the results. We really do think this is the same problem they said they fixed in September.

I will get Len from work in about 45 mintues. He must be exhausted. I am. We are deeply grateful to Steve and Terri. They had a long, long day too and both also had to get up early and go to work.

But we are all safe and at home. Thank you God!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh no, we are broke down

We had an uneventful trip to Alabama to visit family. We even got to meet Allen and Jeanne Webster from the RV-Dreams site. We had lunch with them on Friday. They have been fulltime RVers for two years. Like us, they had horses. Like us, they country dance. Yep, they are like us! We hope to meet them again "down the road".

We left Alabama yesterday morning. We spent the night in Wytheville VA and wanted to get on the road by 6:30. We woke early and left before 4am. We were thrilled to think we would be back in NJ around noon or so. About 1 hour down the road Len asked if I smelled something burning. Yes, off and on. A few minutes later I noticed we had no heat. We pulled off at the next exit and found a small gas station with room to park. Len checked and there was what appeared to be a consistency of mud coming from the radiator. This truck was just in the shop a month ago for a split coil which would have caused this same problem had it not been fixed. so, what goes here!

So, we are now over 400 miles from home on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the worse of all travel days. We called Steve and Terri. They are borrowing a car trailer from my brother and are on the way here. It is now 8:15 am. At the very best they will be here around 4. This is considering how very bad I95 is from Baltimore all the same to Wilmington DE is on this day. At the VERY best we will now not be home until 2 am with no vehicle as I sold my car. However, Steve and Terri had 3 vehicles so looks like we will be borrowing one.

This would not be so bad if we were already traveling. We would have called our Roadside service, had been towed to a Ford Dealer (still under warranty) and lived in our Fiver while repairs are done.

This too shall pass.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off to Alabama

Later today we leave for the 15 hour drive to Cullman, Alabama where Len's son Lennie and his family live. We plan on leaving NJ around 3. We will stop in Wytheville VA tonight and arrive sometime midday tomorrow at Lennies. The last time we had Thanksgiving with Lennie and family was in 2003 when they lived in Syracuse NY for a short time and they came down to our house. We are taking our cargo trailer to Lennie's to store while we fulltime.

On Friday we are meeting Allan and Jeanne Webster who are fulltime RVers and do volunteer work for NOMADS. They are from the Birmingham area and are in the area visiting family and friends. I found them on the RV-Dreams website. We will meet at the Cracker Barrel in Cullman. This will be so great to actually meet people who have been on NOMADS projects.

We will leave Cullman around noon on Saturday and again stay the night in Wytheville. Wytheville is about the 1/2 way mark. I have two nephews who live in Wytheville with their families. My Mom, Sister, Niece and great nephew and niece will be there for a visit. I will call my nephew when we get into Wytheville.

I finished the photo album project. Terri has her and Justins. We will take Lennies to him. The albums we are keeping we have stored in a bin in the cargo trailer. I could not believe the weight of these albums. When pulling a fifthwheel keeping weight to a minimum is always an issue.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh my, I ate too much!

First I want to say welcome to Julie who I see as a follower of this blog. Also, a big hug to both Barb and Margie.

Yesterday was a great day for anyone enjoying good food but not so good for someone, like me, who needs to lose those pounds. It was my monthly lunch date with my Mom. We went along with other Grange members to Olive Garden. I had the soup, salad and breadstick lunch. I made the best choice with minestrone soup. However, I told myself ONE breadstick. Okay so I had two.

Then last night we went to dinner with friends Bobbie and John. We went to a lovely Italian Restaurant that is participating this week in a special Seafood Fest with other upscale restaurants. One (expensive) price for 4 courses from a limited menu. My selections - first course - fried calamali and shrimp with side of Mariana sauce. Second course - risotto with braised sea scallops. Third course - flounder in a light croisant shell stuffed with shrimp and a rich crab sauce served with a huge bowl of Roasted Red skin potatoes, broccoli, zucchini and carrots. Fourth course - lemon sorbet. And wine provided by our friends. Oh my! WORTH EVERY PENNY!

All of this after my doctor telling me I needed to lose weight and I took her word for it. I had an appointment just Wednesday and had lost 4 pounds in 1 1/2 weeks. Back to the drawing board.

I am in the process of organizing photo albums, some to store in our cargo trailer and one for each of our children. Many photos will be heaved. Just how many pics of same scenery and different poses do I need anyway. I will be so glad when this project is complete. I had no idea how much all these pictures added to the weight in our Fifthwheel.

Until next time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Friends, an RV Show and etc.

Last week we met two lovely people at our first CORE group meeting. Helene and Adam are exploring various options with the goal of downsizing and simplfying their lives. We told them about our plans. When I checked my email yesterday morning I found Helene had emailed us at 4:45 that morning asking about the Atlantic City RV Show.

We met up with Helene and Adam and then took the NJ Transit highspeed rail down to Atlantic City getting on in Hammonton. We found the show to be almost empty. As it happened, the NJ coast had been hit with the remnants of Hurricane Ida. It caused some coastal flooding but really very little in A/C. However, the local news really played up the situation causing a drastic drop in attendance.

We saw two rigs we REALLY liked at a cost we REALLY, REALLY liked. In a way we wish we had waited a while longer to buy our new rig. Regardless, we do love our Montana.

After dinner at Tun Tavern across from convention hall, we had to wait over 1 1/2 hours for the next train. We got to Hammonton station at 10:20 pm. All of us were exhausted. Walking and dreaming can be quite tiring, you know.

On the way home we were driving through a residential area when out in front of the car runs a good size Buck. Luckily for us Len had a HUGE custom bumper installed on the truck. Not lucky for the deer. We were left with a little bit of hair on the bumper, the deer lost its life. That thing scared the crap out of me. Who would have expected a deer to run out in the road in that area.

All in all it was a good day. Thanks to new friends Helene and Adam.

Friday, November 13, 2009

RV show or Nor'easter

We had planned on going to the Altantic City RV show tomorrow. However, the last few days we have been hit with the remnants of hurricane Ida causing rains, winds and flooding down the shore. Atlantic City and the surrounds have lots of road closings and power outages. So I guess we will see what tomorrow morning brings.

Even though we have a new Fiver (and for sure are not in the market for an RV) we still love to take walk-throughs of others. Just two weeks ago, having nothing to do on a Saturday morning, we stopped at a local dealer and looked at their used stock. Nothing compared even remotely to our Montana.

I got lots done yesterday. I took our precious Lucky and had him declawed. Front claws only. I was tired of his continuing jumping up on me and digging into my flesh. Then I picked up groceries at WalMart. I stopped at State Farm and cancelled my car insurance. I also had the agent prepare a form for our bank as we refinanced the Montana at a much lower rate and then I dropped it off at the bank. We had originally financed through the dealer. Once the house is settled, the Montana will get paid off and we will be debt free again. But in the meantime, we like having a lower financing rate. Time to clean our "house" today and make a nice pot of vegetable beef soup using leftover London Broil from last night along with the bits and pieces of veggies I save and freeze for just such an occasion.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Yes, we did go to Atlantic City on Friday. Yes, we did donate $40. to the casino (Harrahs). It took all of 15 minutes at the most. I will never understaned how anyone gets enjoyment losing money. As I've said - we go down about once every other year or so. We will probably give futher small "donations" as many casinos throughout the country offer free RV parking.

AND it looks like we've sold my car. We accepted a deposit yesterday and the buyer said he will be back tomorrow with the cash. So for the next two months if I need to have a vehicle during the day I will have to take Len to work. As the prison is less than three miles from here it is really not an issue.

On the matter of selling the car and donating: Our church is putting on an addition. When they announced it two months ago, I felt an urge to make a contribution to the building fund. I told Len and he said go for it. However, I've put it off and put it off as our income has drastically dropped since I stopped working on September 30. In those two months we've had three people express an interest in my car but no takers. Well yesterday I wrote out that check. Right after we got home from church I got the phone call from this gentleman. He came over and agreed to my asking price. I sold the car for 3 times what we donated to the church. Coincidence? We do not believe it is. It seems every time we step out in faith - it brings a reward.

On Saturday night Len and I attended our first CORE meeting following our Retrouvaille weekend. There were 8 couples attending. What a dynamic group of people. What a great program. We are truly thankful we were put it this direction. Another blessing from God. Life is good.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Always next year.

Damn Yankees, what more can I say.

Two days ago I turned 66. Yup, 66. Terri and Steve came over with roses and cheesecake. The roses are still here. The cheesecake is gone.

Last month Len had the truck worked on, including maintenace on the transmission. We never had an issue with the transmission. Since the work was done on it, we have had problems. When the transmission is cold, he has to floor it for it to shift. Even I can hear the difference. So back to the shop it went yesterday. Please, we need no problems with the truck. Why is it that so often the problems occur AFTER a vehicle is serviced????

Tonight we are going to dinner to celebrate my birthday. I am thinking we have not been to Atlantic City for a few years. Perhaps we should take our usual $20. each and give a donation to the slots.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Come on Phillies

So, here we are. World Series - Phillies one win, Yankees two. Fourth game later tonight. Sure would love those champions to make it two years in a row.

It has been raining most of the weekend. We finally got three more storage bins. Len filled them yesterday and organized the "basement" of the Montana. He also moved the cargo trailer to an empty site next to us. It will be easier to hitch up when we get ready to take it to Alabama on the 25th. I hope to meet TJ who lives in Alabama about two hours from Lennie, Tammy and the girls. We "talk" on the Weight Watchers RV thread.

Yesterday we went to an Amish Market about a half hour from here. Had to get out of there ASAP as the pastries were calling us both. Afterward we stopped at an RV dealer and looked at some of their used Motorhomes and Fivers. No, we are not interested in going backward, but we really enjoy looking at various rigs.

Earlier tonight I called Maryland and talked to Amy then Charlotte. She is quite the talker although I really can't follow some of her 3 year old talking. Terri and Steve had a good week at the cabin but had to install a new hot water heater and ran out of propane the last morning. The old tanks can not be refilled. We bought two 100 lbs tank last winter to use here. They will go to the cabin the next time someone heads that way.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oysters, oysters and more oysters

Not much to post here today about Rving.

But, yesterday we had our yearly fill of fried oysters. A volunteer fire company about 15 miles from here has an oyster/ham dinner twice a year. As we have done a few times before, we attended with our Pastor Tom Austin and his wife, Barb. Tom, Len and I love oysters. Barb does not like most seafood so she filled up on ham and the sides. The dinner is served family style and the young waitress was great in keeping that oyster platter filled as we did our very best to keep it empty.

Len was saying last night how much he will miss Tom and Barbara. Tom is in the process of becoming completely ordained in the United Methodist Church. The process should be complete next June. They asked if we would be around at the time as a celebration will be planned. As a matter of fact, yes. We are due in the Pittsburgh area early in the month for a Montana Owners Club rally. Then our granddaughter Abby turns 1 on June 10. We hope to be around for that. We plan to spend about a month in NJ visiting and getting caught up on doctor and dentist appointments.

On Saturday Len spent some time organizing our Fiver basement. We need two or three more large plastic storage containers. We will go to WalMart tomorrow night.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A girls tea party

Yesterday I took Mom with me to visit Amy and the girls down in Maryland. Amy kept the girls home from "school" for the day. Charlotte is now 3 and Abby was 4 months on the 10th.

Immediately upon arrival around 11 we went out for lunch nearby right over the Pennsylvania line. Then we came back to the house and visited. A little later Amy offered tea and pumpkin bread. She and Charlotte decided to make it a "tea party". Charlotte has three tea sets. She helped set the table and we each had some "tea" from one of her dainty little tea pots and cups. Amy says Charlotte sets the table every night for dinner. She also clears her place at the table. She attempted to clear her plates at the restaurant too.

About two Charlotte was ready for her nap and it was time for us to leave knowing how the traffic would on I95 as we neared Wilmington. Amy says Abby does not take hardly a nap and wakes frequently at night. She does smile a lot and now has two teeth which may be causing her some discomfort, thence little sleep.

We had a perfectly lovely day. A real girls "tea party".

Saturday, October 17, 2009


It's been rainy and windy here for three days now. Today we are just sitting around doing little to nothing. We ran to WalMart earlier to pick up some antibiotics for me.

I went to Dr. yesterday to start a complete physical. I have a cough so she wants me to start curing it. I also need to get chest X-ray, mammogram, Pap test, blood work, and Dexascan. I have no idea what that is. Guess I better Google it when I get done here.

Also, there are nights I get very little sleep. So she wants to me have a sleep study. I for sure won't sleep that night.

I made a nice pot of split pea soup yesterday. We will have some later. But while out we stopped at grocery store for a few items and ended up getting fried chicken, steak fries and cole slaw. That was our lunch. Three very unhealthy items.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Air mattress and busy weekend

We just came off a very busy weekend. Len had a state furlough day on Friday and is off today due to Columbus Day, giving us a four day weekend.

Sadly Friday was spent at a funeral for one of our fireman at Seabrook Fire and Rescue. He had been chief twice. Bill was only 57. He was feeling nausea and had the sweats on Sunday the 3rd. He took a shower, got out and collapsed with a heart attack dying immediately. Our heart goes out to this wife and daughter.

Saturday morning we met Amy halfway and got Charlotte. We attended the Gant family reunion and then the 18th annual pig roast that one of our local nurseymen and wife throws each year. Over 200 people attend. Charlotte loves it as there is a DJ and lots of kids and dancing. So glad Len is more ambitious than me. He does the running after her.

On Sunday it was church and later the same nurseyman has a hay ride with hot dogs, etc after. This is a must attend for lots of people in our church. This is the third year we took Charlotte. Afterward we took her home to White Hall MD and got to see Abby for a few minutes.

Today it was off to Scott Motor Coach in Lakewood NJ, a 92 mile trip each way. The original air mattress in the Montana would not hold air. The new one came in. Len just installed it and is laying on it watching an old Roy Rogers movie. They both seem to be working - the air mattress and the movie (not Len).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Planning my day.

Here I sit - really retired and nothing pressing to do.

So far today I have surfed the net reviewing various RVing blogs. It has been a while since I have caught up with several people's travels and activities.

Now I will get myself moving and run to the grocery store, produce stand and fill up the gas tank.

Len says there is another woman at work interested in buying my car. We are hoping this one pans out. I will take the money and apply it all towards our Montana loan. How much we want to get this burden paid down asap. We still owe on the F250 but with a "zero %" loan - we are in no big hurry to pay it off.

With me not working, we need to become more frugal. Bottom line, this means less eating out. That is okay. We both need to watch our diets. I spent sometime yesterday planning the next three nights dinners with healthy recipes. I can actually only plan 3-4 nights out as our RV refrigerator space is very limited.

Okay = off to the store.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Home again and it feels good.

At last, the truck got done late yesterday. Len picked it up and we took the car back to the campground. We were up early today and at the Montana dealership before they were open. We got back here at 11:30 and by 12:30 had everything put to right.

We had lunch in our own "house" and settled in. A little later we will go get Lucky (the kitten). Tomorrow is our last Retrouvaille session. We will miss it. We have met some real nice people.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Homeless, jobless, truckless

Last Saturday we took the fiver to the dealer to get some warranty work done. We expected to pick it up yesterday. In the meantime we are staying with Terri and Steve.

Len made appoinment to have the antifreeze flushed in his truck early yesterday to be done before we went to get the fiver. Lucky he made arrangments to have this done as the shop found a problem with the truck. The work had to be approved by Ford and the part ordered. Therefore, we could not get the fiver, leaving us "homeless" and still staying with Terri and Steve. This also left us "truckless" until no earlier than tomorrow.

AND today was my last day of work leaving me "jobless".

Friday, September 25, 2009

I QUIT!!! (and a new friend)

Yesterday was a very interesting day. It started low when a co-worker made comments regarding me not leaving work when I said I was going to. Bottom line - I was very hurt by her comments and decided it was time to leave. So - next week I go in and clean up those remaining chores left.

Then a higher note. I went to Terri and Steve's to feed the cats and dogs. What did I find but a 10 week old kitten who wanted to go home with me. Home he went. Len and I took him to vets as one eye was gooked shut. Vets says he has concussion, a misligned jaw and infections. Antibiotics will made him well. He is quite feisty and lovable. Len named him Lucky. Perhaps because I found him and not Len? We look forward to him traveling with us.

So for the next three months I will visit, get ready to travel and just all-in-all take care of myself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good news last night

Len had his appointment for the results of his 2nd biopsy. NO CANCER. It is an"oily mole", whatever that is!

So, we were set to retire next week. Because of earlier reports, we canceled retirement, campsites, NOMADS projects, etc. There must be a reason for all this.

When we look at it financially it makes sense to wait until January. My company gives a 3% profit sharing contribution but I must work last week of the year. I will. In next three months Len accrues 30 hours sick pay, 30 hours vacation and on 1/1/10 gets 3 personal days. He met with Personnel at the prison. If he works only until around January 5, he will get paid rest of the month giving him health benefits month of February. So it will be March before we need to start my Medicare supplement and get him his own policy.

The wait will give us more time to get to know Abigail and time to spend with our beloved Charlotte.

We will be back in this area in June. He must see cardiologist and dermatologist and I must see thyroid doctor around that time. We have a Montana Owners Club Rally in Pittsburgh in June so will then head this way for a length of time. Looks like we will be in this area at least every 6 months for various doctor appointments.

It will all work out. But just wait - there will be a major snow storm in the Northeast in the beginning of January giving us one more delay!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

She's Married!

Whew - what a busy four days we just had. Terri and Steve married on Saturday.

On Thursday Terri and I did a lot of errands. Then again on Friday which included Terri baking her own wedding cake. She is a graduate of The Restaurant School in Philadelphia as a pastry chef. She also made several other pastries.

It took 6 men about 7 hours to erect the tent for the reception. The tables were delivered on Friday also. Then the tent was decorated with lights and lanterns On Saturday morning we set the tables and got much more preparations completed.

The wedding was at 3 and was an absolutely beautiful ceremony. It included their saying their own vows, Steve singing to Terri and a communion service. The reception back at the house was lovely although it got very cold by 7.

Charlotte came to the reception with us. She stayed the night and enjoyed church on Sunday morning. She is always a hit there. We then went back to Terri's and helped take down the tent. Terri and Steve have a great group of friends who took many hours to help them in every way possible.

We took Charlotte back home Sunday afternoon and got to hold and play with Abigail for a little while. We got home exhausted but please with a lovely weekend.

Tomorrow we hear the results of Len's latest test for skin cancer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

As the days pass

We talk and talk about our future fulltiming. How much we wanted and planned to leave 10/5. Now we talk about January. I cancelled all reservations I had made except for the NOMADS commitments at Pharr Tx in February and Arkansas City, Kansas in April/May.

We bought a heavy duty 50amp extension cord from Amazon. We find they have the very best prices. We also want to get a small dehumidifier. I looked on Amazon this morning and found several. Together we will review the selection tonight.

Tomorrow Len has follow up appointment with his cardiologist about the catherization he had a few weeks back. We hope for relatively good news. Looks like it will just be taking cholesterol meds.

This weekend is Terri and Steves wedding. Weather expected to be clear but high 60's. Sure would be nice to up that about 10 degrees.

I am still reading lots of RVing books and pouring over maps. I love to plan. I just want some of those plans to come to become reality SOON!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And yesterday things changed

Two weeks ago Len had a biopsy of a spot on his scalp. He told me this was a sore that was just not healing and he had it for about a year. A YEAR!! I insisted he see our doctor. She sent him to a dermatologist. The dermtoloist told him it is probably cancer.

Yesterday I went with him to get the results. It was inconclusive but we were told they really believe it is cancer. She took more skin to be sent out for biopsy. We go back in two weeks for results. If cancerous, he needs it removed surgically and the surgeon is backlogged two months. I told Len today to call our family doctor. This is unacceptable to wait two and a half months to remove a cancer growth.

Nevertheless, today we told our employers to cancel our retirement date once again. We are frustrated, scared and disappointed. But most of all, we need Len to be well. At the earliest, provided he is fine, we now can't leave until the first of the year.

I was to have sold my car today. Thank the Lord, we found this out before the transaction was made. We will try to look on the bright side. Hopefully Terri and Steve will get a mortgage before we take off and the Fiver will be paid for. Also, gives us more time to invest in our 401k's and less time we will need to draw down from our Roth IRA's until Len is 62 in January 2011.

That is all we can do - look for a silver lining and pray.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Four weeks to go

We just got back from the Labor Day camping trip with our Good Sam Club Tag a longs. Sadly, this will probably be our last trip with these friends. It has been a good two years belonging to the club. We will keep our membership active. Who knows, someday we may be in the area when they have a trip planned.

This weekend it was at Sea Pines Outdoor World in Swainton, NJ only 38 miles from Fairton. Most of the members belong to Outdoor World. We went in as guests.

SO, four weeks from today to take off. I have only 12 more working days, Len has 15. We made a list over the weekend of things we need to accomplish. I will work on our insurances later this week. Next weekend we make a quick trip to Alabama taking the cargo trailer to Len's son. We need the surge guard installed. My car still is not sold. We have a few minor items to buy for the Fifthwheel. They can be purchased at WalMart.

It seems we have a lot to do, but when I write the list things come more in perspective.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hot and humid here

We woke up this morning to 82 at 5 am! GEESH>

We ordered the Pressure Pro. It will probably arrive tomorrow.

The car fix was relatively minor. It was the right wheel bearings. Cost was a little less than $250. The woman who wanted to buy it for her son decided not to. Now she is saying she will buy for herself it but not until right before we leave. I feel uncomforable about it. I fear she will change her mind again and we will be in a rush to sell and not get the price we know it is worth. When we told the mechanic at the shop we were selling it, he asked what we were asking for it. When we told him, he said it was reasonable. He appeared interested. Would hate to turn down a sure offer for a yes/no/yes/no/yes deal.

Len is getting all kinds of medical issues resolved in the next few weeks including having some sores on his head looked at that have not healed in close to a year. I really should follow his lead and make some medical appointments for myself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's always something.

We were to sell my car last week. They got lost getting here then we were away for the weekend. Over the weekend they decided they really didn't know if they wanted to get a car. Then yesterday I drove it to work. Oh my gosh!

It idles quietly as usual. But once it gets up to around 40 the RPM needle bounces all over the place and the engine sounds like a jet taking off. We took it to the shop last night. Waiting to hear the outcome. So my usual good luck. Looks like it might be an expensive fix. If so, we have to figure if it is worth it with what we can sell it for. Yup, it's always something.

I did contact Social Security to get papers to start my Part B. Then I will look into an supplement. Certainly not through AARP. I dropped them years ago. Don't like their political leaning. We made call to order Pressure Pro system last night. Also waiting for a call back from the distributor so we can order it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I might be carless soon

We had not planned on selling my car until late September. A co-worker of Lens asked to buy it. However, her son is in town and needs a car. He is returning to Georgia THIS WEEK. So, the car might be history for us soon. That's okay. I leave for work about same time as Len and I pass the prison. I will drop him off and come back in the afternoon for him. The prison is only 3 miles from here.

Tonight we will look into getting the Pressure Pro System. Last week we bought a second battery that Len installed. We think we would like one for Boondocking occasions. Last week we had electrical storm and lost power. We then found out our bedroom TV runs on 12 volt system. YIPPEE! Just have to be careful not to run batteries down too fast.

Len met with representative about his deferred comp at work. She says the same as our financial planner who I met with last week. DO NOT BUY AN ANNUITY. We will probably rollover his deferred comp and my 401(k) from Seabrook into our Ameriprise accounts. We find we have enough in our Roth IRA's to draw from until Len is old enough for Social Security. This will be an advantage tax wise.

Every thing seems to be coming together. But still have those pesky health insurance issues to deal with.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great weekend

We had a great weekend just past. We got to spend Sunday with our beautiful granddaughter Charlotte. She is such a joy to be around. Our future son-in-law Steve gave daughter Terri a surprise 41st birthday party that day also. So, we picked up Grandson Justin and brought him to the party. Seems impossible he will be 22 next month.

As far as moving along with our October 1 plans, now that August is really here, we have to get shaking. We did go to Camping World last week and get a new aluminum outside table. The one we had was on its last legs. Len talked to a friend who will install our surge protector in a few weeks. We cleaned out the cargo trailer (again) and got rid of more stuff. Now we need to work on our financials by meeting with our planner and also purchase two annunities from funds we have at Seabrook Bros and South Woods State Prison.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Moving ahead

Lots of stuff has happened with us since last Blog. Will not go into it but we are moving on along now. Still on target for October 1 takeoff. Len made appointment with Scott Motor Coach to take fiver up last week of September for some warrantly issues: black tank valve leaks, pole in bedroom closet pulling loose, air mattress in sofa will not hold air.

Last night he installed a new water filter. I am exploring health insurance options for Len. We have agreed on a tentative schedule of traveling that takes us up to end of the year.

We have joined NOMADS. This is a group affiliated with the United Methodist Church who are RVers and do volunteer work around the country. We are scheduled to do hurricane clean up in Moss Point MS the last week of November and first week of December. We work 6 hours a day Monday - Thursday with Friday - Sunday off in exchange for full hook ups. Not a bad deal at all.

Right now our main concern is getting our finances in order. We each have small discretionary retirement accounts at our current employers. We are opting for lifetime annunities on each. This will only give us about $500 a month but every bit helps. I have started my Social Security and Len will have a pension from State of NJ. We need to meet with our financial planner about drawing some funds down from our IRAs. Finances will be tight for our first 15 months until Len is old enough for Social Security. We will manage and do quite well once the house is settled with Terri and Steve.

One thing at a time or else it seems overwhelming.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


This weekend we are at our NJ Good Sam Rally. Today we won the registration to the Good Sam Rally held in Louisville, KY next July. Yippee!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Sun, The Sun

We are currently at our annual Good Sam Samboree in Buena NJ. Like most Rallys, we are camped in the middle of an open field. I am loving it. Back at our home campground, we are under tall oaks and get very little sunlight. Due to all the recent rain, it is still very wet as nothing gets enough sun to ever dry anything out. I would not be able to live there another summer. We need lights on in the fiver at all times.

Len went off to work this mornng. I will enjoy my day watching the other rigs pull in. We do expect rain tonight. I almost wish it would rain as our slide toppers are really filthy from the oak pollen and could use a real good rinsing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Making Plans

So - we anticipate our last day of work being September 30. As that is a Wednesday we probably will not be actually "on the road" until after the weekend. We have to be out of where we are now living on the 30th or pay another months rent. Therefore, we will dry camp in the driveway of our old home, now Terri and Steves home.

From there we head to Gettysburg Pa for 5 days. Then down to South Carolina stopping along the way for a few days near Richmond Virginia. After spending time in South Carolina we head to Alabama, stopping in Georgia for a few days. Most of the month of November will be spent at the Escapees park in Summerville Al. Leaving Alabama we head to Louisiana, spending a few days at a park in Misssissippi. December will be spent at Sam Houston Jones State Park outside of Lake Charles, La. From there ?????

Of course, all plans are written in Jello as another Fulltimer likes to say. Ahhh, dreaming and planning.... Gotta love it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eat way too much

Our church assists at a local Drug/Alcohol Rehab center. They have a residence facility for mothers and their children who may live there up to one year. One Saturday a month they prepare a special dinner for these residents. Members of our church assist by setting tables, clearing tables, serving salad and dessert. Then we get to eat!

Tonight it was flounder stuffed with crab imperial, cajun ribsteak, rosemary potatoes, mac and cheese, whipped yams, salad, freshrolls, corn bread, broccoli rabe with roasted red peppers. Appetizers were cheese and crackers, pepperoni and grapes. For dessert -chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. I am so glad this is just once a month. I am in misery.

It has rained almost constantly here for the last month and a half. Today was no different. Some times during the day the sun shone bright while the rains poured down.

Tomorrow is Fathers Day. We will be going out to dinner with Terri and Steve.

We are looking at putting new tires on the F250. Sears has a special sale next week. We will check them out for sure. Also, Len can not fugure out how to install the surge protector we at one time had on the Cedar Creek. He called a local RV repairer yesterday but he has not returned the call yet. People who fulltime say they would not have an RV without a surge protector.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Louisiana and back...

We received a call from Len's family last Saturday, June 6 that his favorite uncle, Joe, was on life support following a heart attack. Within 2 hours we were packed and on the road. We arrived in Vinton, LA Sunday night around 7:30. We visited at the hospital Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Joe was unresponsive and still on support.

While in Louisiana we spent time with Lens mom, sister Pet, brother Myron and brother and sister-in-law Royce and Susie. Shortly after we left headed home on Thursday we got the call that Uncle Joe had died.

Also in the area were Joe and Sherri, a couple who posts on RV-Dreams. I contacted Joe and we met for dinner one night. What a great couple. Joe recently retired and they are now fulltimers.

Our 20th wedding anniversary was on June 10 while we were gone. We had made plans to renew our wedding vows. Of course, that did not happen. We will discuss at another time when we will do this.

A blessed event also happened on June 10. Abigail Claire Emory was born to daughter Amy and son-in-law Scott. Beautiful Charlotte now has a baby sister.

We arrived back home today after keeping an appoinment in Gettysburg Pa to listen to a sales pitch for a membership campground. No thanks but we will accept the 40 days free camping in exchange for listening, thank you very much.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

As time moves on...

Yes, we are still hoping to start our new life October 1. This week we will go to Trenton, NJ to again apply for Lens state pension.

Yesterday we went to Camping World and got an awning clamp. We read that winds can catch the rolled up awning while traveling, causing it to billow and unfurl. This clamp will prevent such an occurence.

On June 10 we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows. The only people in attendance will be Pastor Tom and his wife Barbara, daughter Terrianne and her fiance Steve and hopefully Grandson Justin who now lives in Philadelphia. Afterward we will take the group to The Coach Room, our favorite restaurant in Bridgeton.

At night Len and I read the Bible together (currently Proverbs), review the days Love Dare and say our prayers together. There is so much we have learned and we have grown in so many ways. We have such sadness about the alienations of loved ones on both sides of our family. That these issues are resolved soon is our constant prayer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Let's talk about a date...

Today we talked about a new "take off" date. If all goes well, it will be October 1. Terri gets married in September. The weather will still be fair for travel. Finances will be in order.

As I look forward to traveling, I still hope to resolve some issues here. But I trust God will put us in the right direction and give us the guidance we need.

As much as we enjoy living where we are, we both have a severe case of hitch-itch. There is so much to see and experience that we can only do by starting our fulltime RV life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Going Green

Yesterday was a great day. Where we are "camped" while waiting for the right time to take off is in a grove under lots of tall oaks and dogwood. The area is sandy soil which is only good for growing weeds.

After work yesterday Len came home with his truck bed loaded to the max with beautiful green sod. Immediately we layed the sod in our front yard. I had planted a few flowers last Friday around two trees. So off to WalMart we went and got two bags of mulch. What a beautiful difference grass, flowers and mulch has made to our front yard. I have placed two hanging baskets of petunias on decorative hooks that Len screwed into two trees. There is one more tree on which I would like to place another basket of flowers.

Out our back window I have our Shepherds Hook with two bird seed feeders and a hummingbird feeder. Yes, already we have hummingbirds. The other day we had a scarlet tanager which I do believe is the first time I've seen one. One day last week we had white breasted nuthatches, marsh wrens, red-bellied woodpeckers, blue jays, tufted titmouse, cardinals and downy woodpeckers. Just a short time ago I watched two turkeys walk across the lawn. (Better watch my step today!)

After laying the sod we had 6 addtional rolls. We took them to Terri and Steve. There is an area next to the shop Len built that needs landscaping and grass. Steve and Len layed out our remaining sod. They figure they will need about 1/2 pallet more to complete this area. Len will get it for them once they level down the dirt.

We are so proud of our front yard. Whoever gets this site when we leave might or might not enjoy it, depending on whether they like to mow grass!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Waiting for our time

As the weather is getting nicer, we are spending more time outside under the awning.

We have friends.Gene and Kathy, who also live in their RV fulltime while still working. They live right across from us. On nice weekend nights Gene gets the campfire going. We pull up our chairs and are joined by Ken who is living in his travel trailer and still also working.

Last week we bought bicycles. We have not had many chances to ride as we are just coming through 11 consecutive days of rain. We did manage to take a VERY short ride one night. We had not been on bikes in at least 16 years. We managed to stay on but these old legs did not hold out long. We will work our way up a little at a time.

Our next purchase will be an RV freezer. We have enough room in the refrigerator but sure would like to be able to store more meats when I find good bargains. RV freezers are quite costly. We will wait for a sale at Camping World.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And now we are ....

Making our life as best we can.

It has been some time since posting. Life throws some bad curves. As time got close to our plan to fulltime, I saw a change in Leonard. After much heartbreak and anger the bottom line is that he was scared to quit his job at this time and go on the road. We are back together but still dealing with the ramifications of his fear and how he mishandled it. Had he talked to me, we could have worked through this issue together.

We have purchased a 2009 Montana fifthwheel and are still planning to travel "someday". We are living fulltime in our rig. Len works fulltime, I work two days a week. Unbelieveably, we both are content living here for now.

But, there are sad family issues that cause pain and regrets. We don't always know how our actions affect others. I pray these issues will be resolved.