Saturday, December 15, 2012

15 December 2012

WOW does life move quickly.   I've always heard the older you get the faster it goes!  I think that's true.    It's been since November since I last posted and lots has happened.   We had a great visit with RVer friends Don and Fannie and I'm already looking forward to the next time we meet.    6 November my Aunt Janet passed away.   Mom seemed really sad after that, even though she's unable to verbalize anything so Chris and I headed to Oak Hill to spend more time with her.   She seems to really enjoy our visits and Chris' dog, Lady, makes her smile.    Lady is a great dog to have around the elderly.   I really don't understand why Pit Bulls have such a bad rep.

We headed back to Jax right before Thanksgiving with Mom back to her "always smiling" self.    Then, our focus turned to beginning to de-clutter our Jax home so that we can put it on the market by the Spring.    San Marco duplex went on the market the end of November and we signed a contract on 12 December.    I'm hoping all inspections, appraisal, buyer financing go as planned and we sit at a closing table on 11 Feb 13.   

The sad part is on 5 December Mom slipped into a coma like state and passed away 9 December 2012,  2 days before her 87th birthday.    I am thankful for the time we had and know she's in a much better place with the Lord.    It's been quite the year around here.  First my Dad, then my Aunt, and now Mom.

Joyce Arrie Rouse Brown
11 Dec 1925 - 09 Dec 2012

Vanessa, our daughter, was able to fly in from Utah for Mom's funeral.   Great to see her.  The fire pit I built was well used last week.

Raymond is off for two weeks beginning 22 December, so we plan to be in Oak Hill for Christmas and begin getting some things done there.

My Etsy Shop is getting more noticed and I've been busy with making more Note Cards and Gift Wrapping paper ribbons this past few weeks.   I'm hoping to get a few more designs made, photographed and posted this weekend.    Weather in Jax is about 60 degrees and cloudy.    NCAA Bowls start today!!!     I hate to see football coming to the end of it's season.

Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year!!!!!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

17 November 2012

Fall is flying by and before we know it 2012 will be history.   I've created lots of new designs for my Etsy Shop and continue to add a few more for the Christmas Season.    Soon the 'refocus' will happen to begin posting new Spring and Summer cards.

Since our retirement is getting closer, "but still far, far away", Raymond and I are focused on getting our Jacksonville home cleared of 'stuff', painted, etc.  The normal things one must do to get a house on the market.   Hopefully by Spring.   We are beginning to plan the route we are taking to Alaska that first summer.  Hope to drive about 200-250 miles and park, unload the car and see all the sites we want to see within a 150-175 miles radius.   Then, move on to the next spot.   There is so much to see in beautiful North America!!!   The RVing Database is filling up with places to see, things to do, and places to eat (thanks to the Food Network).   Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives  is a great place to find those hidden eateries that would otherwise me missed.

Last night, RVers Don and Fannie came by for a visit.   What a great time we had and hope to see them again soon and/or after we are 'on the road'.

Hope you enjoy these cards and will check out

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!    

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

 22 September 2012 - home!   So good to be home.    On Sunday, Raymond and I met Mickey and Bonnie in Palm Coast to discuss RVing Travels together to Hutchinson, KS.     What fun it will be to travel with another couple.

The 10 days off to the 2012 HDT National Rally was a blast.   Lots of fun seeing old friends, making new friends, attending seminars, pot lucks, and games.   But it was over way too soon.  Raymond and I are looking forward to next trips to Tampa in January and Crossville, TN in April.

I've also been working on Note Cards, paper Ribbons, and a custom order of golf flags for a surprise birthday party.

These are a few of the designs.  More Christmas designs will be posted soon.  Please visit my Etsy Shop for your Note Cards.   One customer commented, "ordering from me what lots more fun than driving to the closest Hallmark".     If you'd like to place a custom order, please contact me.    The possibilities are almost endless.

I'm heading home to Jacksonville tomorrow.   Time to begin getting home cleared out, items donated or sold in garage sales, etc.   Hope to be ready to put it on the market in the Spring.  Until then, plenty to do there and at the Homebase.

Hope you all are having wonderful Fall weather.

23 October 2012 Oak Hill, FL Beautiful, Sunny and 82

It's been a fast six months with lots of events along the way.   7 April  Vanessa, Raymond and I entered the Navy 10K at Jax NAS and all 3 of us placed.  Raymond and Vans 2nd and I did 3rd place.   That's always a FUN race.     Then on the 21st we did the Orange Park 8K, Vans came in 3rd, I did 10th and Raymond and Sergei 11th place.   Not bad...and another fun race along the St Johns River.
27 April - 6 May Raymond and I are on our 1st week + of RVing.      See Raymond is so comfortable driving the Volvo, he has his coffee in hand (other times it's the remote to the radio...flipping channels - yes, folks there is a remote to the radio in our truck   LMAO).  The 2nd and 3rd photo's are our Rig and the view from our window.   And, last but not least, our RDBE get-together.   RDBE, you might be might be wondering = Rigs Driven By Estrogen.   You'd be amazed at how many of the women RVers actually drive our Rigs.

The week flew by with Raymond and I hoping between now and retirement would fly by, and most likely it will.   We have lots of projects to be done at home in Jax and at the Homebase in Oak Hill, FL.

9 June 2012 Raymond and I did another race.   Never Quit Never at Jacksonville Beach.  If you don't know anything about this race it's interesting to read it's history.

RV Pad and Extended Driveway opening are finished in Oak Hill and the Rig is backed onto it's new pad.    1 less project to do.

July brought a whole new set of changes in our household.   Vanessa got a promotion and will be moving to Salt Lake City, Utah maybe as early as August.   What a great opportunity although we will miss she and the dogs.    So, we began doing some things around Jax and Oak Hill before she leaves, including going to a Jaguars vs NYGiants pre-season game.   It was fun, but reminded me why I gave up our season tickets years ago.   Vans and I had a blast, though.

1 September Midnight - Vanessa had her last day at work in the Jacksonville office - I loaded the dogs and picked her up from work at midnight and we headed off to Utah.    We drove 21 hours to Overland Park, KS.   Arrived around 7pm - off the road just about sundown - and enjoyed a hot shower after a good, quick walk with the dogs, and then a nice long sleep.    About 10 hours the next day and we arrived at Sergei's home in Denver for 2 night's of rest.  He was a great host and showed us/me lots of sights.   Went to my first IKEA and REI stores - all I can say is "WOW".

5 September our last leg of the trip to Clearfield, UT.     I stayed til 22 September and during that time we got her apartment fully unpacked and everything in it's place, she bought furniture, etc.   And, we got out to explore nearby cities, sights, mountain peaks, downtown, etc.    Top two sunset pictures are from the Bike/Walking path that runs over 40 miles in length from Clearfield to SLC.  Left is a view of the Great Salt Lake!

Vanessa and I hiked Frary Peak on Antelope Island.  6,596 feet to the Summit.   Exhausting because I'm not in shape for hiking - but soooo glad I pushed and reached the top.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another attempt at keeping my Blog going!   LOL
I cannot believe I haven't posted since the end of November.  Time is flying!   We had a wonderful Thankgsiving and Christmas and the New Year began.

I planned my trip to TX to spend time with Dad and Jerry/Barbara at the River.  What a great place to relax.    Even though Dad was continuing to email daily we all knew he was getting closer to moving to an assisted living center - especially when he ask to move.   He wanted to be around more people.   So, my focus was checking out ALC's near Sugar Land so Jerry could visit often after work.    But, on 6 January Dad drove himself to the ER.   Turned out his BP and Blood Sugar was 'out of whack', as they called it so he was admitted to ICU.   After a few weeks in the ICU and Nursing Home, things stabilized, we got him moved to a ALC.   He and I spent a great afternoon hanging pictures on the wall and decorating his room (he was supervising).  He spent less than a week at the ALC before he was back in ICU.   God had other plans.   On 14 February 2012, he went home to be with the Lord.     Thanks to friends and family the details of the next few weeks went smoothly, but somewhat in a blur.     The full military funeral was amazing and lots of Dad's friends shared wonderful stories with us.     After spending most of Jan and Feb, I returned home 27 February.

John Porter Richardson  12 August 1923  - 14 February 2012
Unbeknownst to our kids, Raymond and I decided to buy our 'Dream RV Rig' and began the processing in December, 2011.    We've been researching, attending RV Conventions, Rallies, Heavy Duty Truck/RV Rallies since mid 2007 trying to absorb all that we can.   The 1st HDT that Raymond drove (2nd one I drove) came available, along with a 36' DRV Mobile Suites and a Blue Smart Car.    After many prayers we decided this was the RIG for us.   Our friends George & Diane upgraded the DRV beyond anything we could have imagined and it was like stepping into a brand new RV.   After months and months of processing, many long distances phone calls (since this was going on the whole time I was in TX), we signed the deal on 14 March 2012.     Due to work schedule, we took possession on 23 March and spent our first weekend with George teaching us as much as possible about the Volvo/RV that we could absorb.   We stayed at "FL Gateway Resort, Jasper, FL, and then George and Diane drove with us to Jacksonville.    Raymond took to driving the Rig (picture below)- like a duck takes to water.

We've spent time getting the RV supplies in place and today we will put the finishing touches in it.  I've changed the decor from the normal RV fabric to a brighter fabric on the Valances and leather fabric on the dining room chairs.   Tonight we leave for our first WEEK long adventure to the 2012 East Coast Rally in Crossville, TN.    Our plan is to head out tonight, sleep in the Volvo in a rest area or Flying J, and then tomorrow on the road.   Our friends Davena, Henry and her Mom Kitty are at our home in Oak Hill and will join us on the road Saturday and caravan on to Crossville with us.    Can't wait to see them.    Looking forward to our first RV Adventure!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I cannot believe how fast this month has flown by.    I spent two weeks at my Mom's.   She is continuing to slowly get worse with her Alzheimer's, but the care center takes good care of her.  And the Hospice Nurse keeps me updated when I'm not down there.

In looking back through my files, I've sold 475 Note Cards this year.  It's been fun designing new ones and getting them posted in my Etsy Shop
Latest addition is Paper Ribbon for Gifts.   WOW is that fun to make, too.

Went home before Thanksgiving and spent 2 days cooking our traditional meal.  All of the kids got home, so that made the day special.    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.