Sunday, May 24, 2015

Another RV Option

Chaplain Tangen made a comment today about someone he saw camping in a U-Haul. I came home and was surprised to find out U-Haul MAKES campers -but that's not what Ch. Tangen saw.

While Michael continues to hunt up RV models; I'm thinking this.....really. I was already drawing my own "dream RV" plans this a.m. BEFORE chapel......and Ch. T sparked my imagination.....

You can find anything on Pinterest. Turns out MANY have designed their own RVs from U-Haul trucks, horse trailers and busses......Here's one we liked for a U-Haul. LOL You just never know what will be inside a U-Haul - that'll preach!

I'm pretty sure Michael doesn't want to build an RV - but I keep thinking of exactly what would work well..... LOL I'm guessing it wouldn't save money.  We're looking used....not brand spanking new conversion.

The One That Got Away

By now blog readers know our retirement plan is to move into the trailer until God opens the doors to Japan.  We discovered, on this trip, that Michael and I had different ideas of what "moving into the trailer meant." I truly thought it meant we'd camp in his mother's neck of the woods for 6 - 12 months, with occasional road trips. He plans to travel the states.  We'd best go with him.   I'm game, but I need to rethink a few storage issues and such.

Michael has been looking for a Class A Diesel pusher RV.... Last week he found one which fit our budget. This was the first time I took much interest in the search. I knew we wouldn't really do it unless it fit the budget...and I didn't think it would be possible to find one that fit our budget. ::snort::  He found one - it even has bunks. The kids don't want to have to take couches and dinette up and down every day for months on end. I understand. I crave a spot to be in the a.m. before all wake up and that doesn't happen if someone is sleeping on the couch and table.

I still wasn't 100% sold on this plan - but our van has 130K miles and the idea of putting another 50K or so on it while we travel pulling a 31 foot trailer....well we're going to have to buy a new truck or we're contemplating and praying and doing a LOT of research and praying.

And THIS showed up...Wow - it's not BROWN...I like red...and it has a G for Gherkins.  Michael insists it isn't for Gherkins.....

He's probably right. 

We had some questions which they were quick to answer.  The layout was good. The mileage low. While not as much counter space as we had hoped for, it did have lots of storage. The master bedroom had a full closet, dresser, and lots of cupboards.
The Specs and Ad said this model had 3 bunks. It became apparent to us that they had chosen to have two bunks, rather than three installed.  That was a shocker and it took us a day to decide we COULD modify the existing bunks.....Michael told them he'd fly to GA to see it in person. We spent 3 days thinking this would be our new home and on the 4th day.....

The ad disappeared from the Camping World website and the salesman quit communicating with us. We are assuming it sold to someone who didn't need to fly in.  And I had such plans for new decals on the outside to match the bold red paint.

We assume this isn't the home for us. It's not the end of the world - we DO have a trailer and a van and will move in to it if we don't find the right fit before August.  It just stinks the salesman was so attentive and then NOTHING......We're looking at other dealers now.  ::wink::

The Three R's (God Schools Me)

I asked God to increase my faith.

He is. Sometimes spiritual growth hurts.  But it's good.

I don't feel any need to go into great detail - simply this,  I'm "stretching."

God is faithful. Today he met me in 2 Chronicles 20:17-24 and took me to school. I don't often think in three point sermonese alliteration but it fell right into my journal and I thought I'd share the 3 R's from 2 Chronicles 20.  I need to corral my thoughts and have them at my fingertips.

Three R's from the passage.

1.  Resolve to stand and watch God at work.

2. Replace fear with courageous, joy-filled worship.

3. Recognize God's constant presence and unchanging character.

BTW those enemies become corpses....just a freebie thought - not an "R".

My "word" for the year is Resolve. I've not had time to blog much, but through a zillion circumstances I am reminded God has called me to be steadfast, to make a pre-decision to follow Him, to commit to tenacious be resolved.

This song means much - and I want to save the lyrics for when it's no longer sung. LOL

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by HillsongYou call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Saturday, May 23, 2015

ARIELLE is 18!

Arielle - as in OUR BABY - is 18.  Our family seems to have separated into two groups - the older 5 and the younger 4 babies..... and today the first of the BABIES turned 18. I'm telling you - I know you'll roll your eyes and think I've forgotten how hard the early years can be - it all goes so quickly!!!!!

We returned home just in time to celebrate Arielle's birthday. Arielle is a jewel. She's a hard worker, her personality is a great blend of extrovert and introvert, she's funny and fun, she's caring and sassy....and TODAY she turned 18. No one gave her permission - she just did it.

I thought it was great fun that Alex was up early hanging streamers. I usually have the early hour to myself.

Arielle decided what she wanted for her birthday celebration was to STAY HOME, rather than eat out. AND she wanted me to make vegan ice cream. I've been meaning to try this, but after the almond milk yogurt fiasco - I was scared. Michael loves manhandling the ice.

It turned out good. We put the leftovers in the freezer and we'll see if  it has a bit more "eating time," before melting time.

It became apparent Arielle had a whole "Japan" theme in mind....plain vanilla, small bowls and spoons...just a treat; not gluttony.  She didn't ask for vinegar in the ice cream - but I'm getting hungry thinking about it. ANYWAY - I made a few toppings and that was an EZ PZ birthday cake!

Sure enough the purist loaded her vegan ice cream with non-vegan, chopped up bits of a Reese's cup.

 There are some challenges a father should not give and a son should not take....nonetheless....Michael bet Alex he couldn't keep his hand in the ice cream freezer water for 30 seconds. He did it.
Stacia gave Arielle coupons and then had a bit of trouble reading one of them.
Alex gave her a REAL rainbow quartz from Meteor Crater.
In keeping with our tendency to give paper, Nolan gave her a pre-ordered receipt for Cinderella....and we gave her the papers and receipt for a laptop (graduation gift), multi-colored highlighters, a computer mouse and her own copy of Chocolate Covered Katie.
She says she's ready for college now.

The kids played Disney Scene it. Michael and I, not being big Disney Scene it fans, opted to continue the hunt for a new home to purchase - an RV. 

Note: I have to push until Wednesday, but after THAT we're scheduling an optometry appointment. It seems it's time and she's out of contacts. Oops.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Wanderers are Home!

We're home. We had so much fun traveling in the trailer and exploring options for post-retirement that I'm not 100% happy to be home. ::snort::
F 84

We drove yesterday and spent the night at Edwards AFB. Their fam camp was still full - and stays that way. That's fine. We spent another night in overflow and only had to pay $5.00 - sure beats $200 - $300 for two hotel rooms.  It was COLD and WINDY - but we had fun exploring some planes anyway.

F 111 - Aardvark

Today we drove on home. We'd been warned about all from Southern CA who would be driving north. We totally forgot about that was foggy - dense fog - and raining over the Tehachapi pass. That was a bit tense.

The rest of the day was uneventful until just after Sacramento.

BreAnne called about then. Travel days are great days for talking on the phone, as I don't feel guilty "just sitting." ::grin::

Cost Comparison of 12 Day trip to TX:
Without the Trailer - $5,474.16
Food - 2x a day - $1440
Gas - $734.16 (13 mpg)
Lodging - (2 rooms per night) $3,300.00

Pulling the Trailer - $2,272.93
Food - 1x a day - $770; plus a trip to the grocery store to replenish milk and fruit
Gas - $1321.43 (7.5 mpg)
Lodging - $181.50 (11 nights at RV Parks)

I always budget 5K for our family to travel to TX. We saved a total of $3,201.23. If we'd been driving a diesel RV the trip would have cost $1439.42 - assuming 13 mpg. 

We discovered on this trip Michael and I had a different picture of what "moving into the trailer" looked like. I imagine parking in Crescent City and living for 6 months. He imagines traveling - and staying a week or so when we find a place we want to explore or stopping in on family for a couple weeks at a time.  Very different picture. ::grin::

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Back at the Camp

Whew - this was a full "down day." I told Michael when we make this a lifestyle we'll need rest days to recuperate from the down days. ::snort::

We stopped by Walmart in Winslow and restocked on fruit and water.

Back at the campground we wandered out to Route 66 again and found a geocache! Yay US - we didn't even have our GPS  units with us.

Route 66 - loved this walk each morning.

It was another beautiful sunset over the San Francisco Peaks.


La Posada, Winslow AZ

We definitely received mixed and conflicting messages about this stop. On  the one hand this is a "roadside attraction" and listed in tour literature as such. An attraction is meant to draw folks to come and see....on the other hand signs were posted, "No Trespassing, Private Property, No Loitering." 

What were we to do? Loitering is to sit or stand idly in a place. We decided to walk with great determination and swagger. We belonged.

I love to see old buildings restored. La Posada was known as the plushest hotel along the rail road route. When the trains stopped bringing wealthy passengers the hotel fell into disrepair. It is now restored and fully operational.

Here are a few shots.

For more details read the sign above - but the Army tried camel travel through here