challenges, dare to be different, Teddie Bear Adventures

RV Life Episode 1

The day finally came. Spring break 2022. The RV was loaded or hopefully loaded with all the essentials for a successful maiden voyage.

It started out shaky when the new driver (me) had about 1.5 hours of traffic due to road construction and accidents on the road. A lot of stop and go was good practice but I won’t lie when I say I was a bit claustrophobic at times trying to stay in my lane when tractor trailers were on each side of me. Nothing like trial by fire.

Although the start was rocky, the vehicle performed well on the road trip. About 7 hours total crossing one time zone and three states total. We did it. So many firsts. New experience for the pups. First time in an RV as a family. First time traveling to this particular state for a trip. The list could go on and on.

Electronics worked such as the wifi, the tv and radio. Although we didn’t use them all the time we had access which was good for many reasons. Weather was in our favor the first two days. Sunbathing and napping seemed be a good fit for me. Having all day to do nothing seemed okay with me for a few days off the grid.

We met some friends. We chatted with people from Wisconsin to California to Michigan and a few other states. We got to see how people traveled. Did they pull a trailer behind a truck or did they tow a tiny car behind an RV? So many options. We saw golf carts, bikes, trikes, motorcyles, jeeps and other side cars toted with each campsite.

Oh and how different each outside campsite was. From neon palm tree decorations to custom flags marking the spot. From simple to elaborate with everything in between. At night you could see the glow of green up high in the trees. The trees were adorned with internet boosters to enhance the WiFi coverage area. An interesting glow of sorts at night.

There were big grills, tabletop grills, and charcoal grills. Fire pits or solo stoves would light the night with the scent of toasted marshmallows. When one dog barked the others joined in. From near to far the barks varied in sound. From tiny schnauzer to the big Great Dane. The golden retrievers seemed to mostly listen but every other dog joined in the symphony of dogs. No cats in sight.

The RV resort was on the bay with beautiful views by day and night. Mid day there was a dolphin or two putting on a show poolside for those who wanted to watch them rise and dive again. Something I don’t see everyday thus I enjoyed it. Sunshine. Relaxation. No have tos. The perfect getaway. 

Meals outside on the picnic table. Movies under the stars. Music jamming at lunch outside. Time with friends and family. This reminded me of our lake days but this time on solid ground instead of by water. 

The first trip has come and gone. Many more states to visit. 900 miles on the odometer to break in the new house on wheels. Next up summer adventures near and far. Until then, I’ll leave you with some could have done without moments:

The water hose broke. Thank goodness for a friend saving the day with a loaner.

The grill connector didn’t fit. Good thing a neighbor let us grill with them.

The creepy gas attendant in Alabama who asked for a hug and kiss upon checkout. Random but I wonder how many takers he gets on a given day?

The winds that rolled in one day that gave me a hint of what it’s like to be rattled in a big storm if I lived full time on a trailer.

nature

Nature Spots

Today was a full day in nature. When I’m out and about in nature I like to snap photos to remember my time away. The time reflecting in nature. As I have aged I find these simpler times to be peaceful and worth capturing.

These stairs were a fun climb on this day. They were not evenly spaced. They were steep steps. They were winding and sometimes rocky. There were some sticks poking out at times as well. This picture is a cool memory of the climb after the wonderful view of the waterfall below.

This bridge was the halfway point on my recent hike. It was a wider than most bridges you pass on a hike but it was a great photo spot. Each side had different water views with varied rock formations. We definitely took some group photos in this spot, but I also enjoyed snapping the naked photo of just the bridge. The still moment without people was a good memory for me.

Now the bridge also also had a side that spilled over or filled the lower level and small falls. You could not have imagined from this view how breathtaking the pooled water would have been below. The blue coloring and surrounding rocks were super cool. The flow of the spillage was just right to create a small water fall.

The fork in the road. Which path is the better choice? For me we went down one way but came back the other way. This way nothing was missed. Traveling to new places is fun. You just go with the flow and embrace what path you end up on. Wonder how many could embrace that philosophy in life?

This water fall was so amazing to visit. It was cool to be here on a day with heavy rain. Mist and fog in the air. Raging water coming over the edge causing a spray like no other. It was refreshing to say the least. As you can see in the picture I enjoyed my climb to get close to the water for the full experience.

If you are unable to get into nature I hope that these pictures give you the virtual experience through my eyes. Opting outside is one of my favorite pastimes. I also love exploring with others. Just hanging out or hugging a tree.

author moments

The Doorstep

My doorstep has been an interesting place lately. More traffic than I want. More unique visitors than I ever anticipated. Unexpected. Unwanted. Unsolicited. Just some of the u words that come to mind. Some visitors had two legs while others had four. Oh how life throws you curve balls just to see how you react. 

Below I will give you a sampling of the randomness. Think about how you would react. These scenarios are not in any particular order.

  • The Uber delivery. Yes Uber dropped people at my doorstep. Directly from the airport. Dressed in their cultural attire. Did I mention I am at least 50 minutes from the airport? Limited English spoken. It’s a hot summer day. Sun is beating down. They are so hot. I’m offered water but they nodded no. They may want to rethink my kind gesture but I’m sure they are so nervous. Unknown place. Unknown person. So many stressors.
  • Nobody could pick them up for what seemed like an eternity but it was just an hour. I offered water again. Finally they took it out of desperation. I texted their family members from their phone even though I could not read the language in the text. Arabic maybe or something similar with symbols vs letters. I felt responsible for the cargo left on my doorstep. Complete strangers but dumped at no fault of their own. What would you have done?  Would they know how to tell their family where they were if I didn’t help? What would you do if Uber dropped you in the wrong place. So much to think about. They were understandably nervous. 

Nobody was harmed in the taking of the photo and faces were covered to not embarrass anyone. How many might think this situation could have played out so differently in today’s world? I had to document this bizarre event.

  • The landscape supplies is the next unexpected doorstep instruction. Home Depot was oh so gracious to deliver me a truck load of landscape supplies to my driveway and a few heavy boxes of additional yard items to my doorstep. Everything from heavy landscaping pavers to pesticides to fly catchers. According to the receipt it was worth thousands of dollars. They left a packing slip. I actually inventoried it because I’m that anal retentive. What would you have done if this happened at your place?
  • While verifying the order, I saw the recipient’s phone number and called it. This made for an interesting call. Stranger on other end of phone was wondering why I am calling and why I have his goods and his private information. That’s understandable I suppose. All I wanted was for him to get his stuff off my property so I could leave my driveway. Big sigh. 
  • He drove past my house many times. How could he miss it with me standing outside? I had to stay on the phone to make sure he stopped. He was old. He couldn’t lift the pavers or the heavy boxes. I was already the receiving department. Now I was the shipping department. Off I went to load his car. What would you have done? On a funny note, the delivery ticket clearly stated do not leave without a signature. Guess what? The driver just left it all without a signature. I guess that is contactless deliveries for you.
  • My four-legged friends. One night it was a family of deer passing by and lingering for a bit with their bold eyes. Last night it was two black stray dogs. They started out back then moved to the front. I’m sure they smelled my dogs but geez do I have a sign that says everyone is welcome that translates in multiple languages and across animal sound waves? I shake my head but the more I think about my odd visits, I let out a deep sigh as it’s hard to believe. Of course I can’t make this stuff up. It’s as real as it gets. I’m sure I know plenty of neighbors that wouldn’t be as gracious as me in these scenarios. Some may opt for shoot first ask questions second, unfortunately.
  • I can’t forget the past residents of the home who send a child translator with the mom to pick up her mail repeatedly. This blows my mind when the postal service offers a change of address service. Even the furniture company got it wrong. Their driver delivered a new homeowner’s enormous floor rugs to my doorstep. Those I just left as a large item and said someone can figure out where they got delivered and come get them. They were big enough to see from the road and they lacked packing slip information for me to identify the correct owner.
  • A day later the doorbell rang. The man said I know this sounds strange but I think that’s my set of large floor rugs. Nope, not strange at all.  It’s yours because it’s definitely not mine and they are too heavy to move so I figured somebody would claim them soon enough. 

Most days seem a bit crazy in my world but these weird visits in mass quantities have me thinking I’m good for the rest of the year or maybe two years.

No more random doorstep deliveries for this girl. I guess I need to get a large address sign for the lawn to make it ever so obvious what address one is stopping at. If you have any better ideas drop me a note.

And then…the extra Amazon deliveries. A new trend. Somebody must have moved into a newly build home with the same street number as mine yet the street itself is wrong. Another delivery gone bad and I’m left to do the right thing over and over again.

challenges, fitness and nutrition, health

A Million Little Pieces

I wrote recently about being part of a challenge where I’m cleaning out the clutter in my diet. In addition, there are many other little daily requirements in this challenge that aim to improve healthy habits. Every one had points associated with it. Here are some of the little things that I had to attend to throughout this month.

-Complete at least 4 workouts a week. This included a tester workout at the beginning and end of the challenge. I workout pretty much daily so this was not a big deal to achieve. I improved my score by quite a bit from beginning to end.

-Drink 80 ounces of water per day. Only 12 ounces can be unsweetened seltzer water.

This required more effort than the workouts. Filling up insulated cups daily, cutting fruits into the water to infuse them, it all helped. It’s paying attention and planning, just like the food part. I also set up a water reminder app but I don’t think that part encouraged me much. Just a buzz saying “it’s time to drink water” was too easy to ignore. I need to look into something with different sayings.

-Stretch / do yoga for 20 minutes per week

I embrace working out but stretching is something I do wayyyy too little of. And as a “woman of a certain age” I know stretching would help me in multiple ways. I usually broke this into 2 sessions after morning home workouts.

-Follow a sleep routine every night

There were many of these to choose from – drink herbal tea, meditate, turn off your screens an hour before bed, etc. You just had to pick one and do it daily. I chose reading before bed. I generally read something pretty mindless like a magazine. This was a switch from my usual scrolling of social media. I don’t have trouble falling asleep. Staying asleep doesn’t always happen.

-Limit or eliminate alcohol

As I discussed recently, this was already a part of my life. I will admit there were a few temptations with the stressful end of school chaos as well as more celebrations than usual with a lot of friends drinking. I still just refrained.

-Monitor and log progress

Logging points every week was a task to manage. With a bunch of little checkoffs, I wasn’t always diligent daily. But, I kept up. And I still weigh myself every day. The thing I still stumble over is photos. Why do I hate before and after shots so much? I always wish I took the time to do it but still don’t.

-Work on mindfulness

We had little exercises to think about our goals and our why. I knew cleaning up my act was a big motivator.

-Participate in other goofy activities along the way that keep the mood light and community connected

In the few challenges I’ve done before these are often things I ignore. But I did a couple this time just to stay in the game. One was to bite down on a wedge of lime while doing a farmer’s carry for two minutes to practice breathing through my nose. I’m not quite sure what this taught me but I know for sure that proper breathing is something I need to give more attention to.

Health isn’t just eating or just working out. It’s a whole collection of habits, practices, and choices. There were a million little pieces to this challenge. Many of them are things I know I should be doing but I just don’t. The water and stretching were probably what I needed to work on most aside from the nutrition piece.

So, how did it all turn out? Results to follow soon.

dare to be different

21 Odd Things

Going into 2021 I thought I’d jot down 21 odd things about me. Hoping to have people play along and send in 21 odd things about themselves.

1 – I like peanuts but not peanut butter.

2 – I eat cherry tomatoes but not tomato slices unless they are fried and green.

3 – I like chunk white tuna from a pouch but every other kind of tuna is gross to me.

4 – I like roller coasters that are short and winding but not the ones that have a steep drop that leave my tummy in an uproar.

5 – I like to drink from a plastic straw but hate to use a paper straw.

6 – My workout socks matter. They have to be just the right fit, matched and no holes.

7 – I like to put chalk on my hands at the gym and put the hand prints on the nearest black pants that somebody is wearing.

8 – I also like to use chalk when doing a lot of burpees to decorate the floor and show that I did a lot when I’m done. Very gratifying.

9 – I like to meet new people and ask questions to learn about them but it could be unnerving to others.

10 – I am always planning my next tattoo.

11 – When I order my coffee at a restaurant for breakfast I only order 1/2 cup. The other half is normally for creamer!

12 – When I order an omelette I ask for a sprinkle of shredded cheese. I don’t like a big blob.

13 – I am somebody’s safe word.

14 – I post a lot of pictures online or more so than many my age or so my kids say.

15 – I like to wear different shoes for different kinds of workouts.

16 – I change outfits more than once at a competition.

17 – I order my nuggets extra crispy at Chick-Fil-A. Some people don’t even know it’s an option.

18 – I like thin chicken breasts not plump chicken breasts.

19 – I like soft cooked carrots but not hard carrots.

20 – I use many notebooks for many different tasks and ideas.

21 – I like to drink Shirley Temples and I like extra cherries.

It took a minute to think of 21 and I might have asked a few close friends for help. It was fun to think about.

This was a good way to end 2020 and all its weirdness. We all have our own weirdness about us. Now go make your list. Be bold and share it.