States we've Traveled

States we've Traveled

Tribute to Ms Southwind

Tribute to Ms Southwind

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's getting warmer here again today we had a high of 76! It's been a day of up & downs. I got up this morning and spent most of my morning sitting in a doctor's office. Ughhhh not fun. Then my afternoon was spent visiting my neighbor which was an up. She had a ruff morning too, so we spent our afternoon comforting each other.

With my disability, i suffer with depression from time to time and today is one of those days. I'm not even sure why but today has been one of those days where i cry over spilt milk. I don't have any energy and didn't even take a walk, maybe i will later tonight. I feel tired, sluggish and don't care what is happening around me. I hate those days!!!

I found these clip art online and thought they'd be cute to post for the holiday. Maybe that is why it's been a down day for me? I have found since becoming disabled i don't do holidays very good anymore. They are days i wish i could sleep through.

The little ghost & goblins here in the south are gonna have a nice evening for trick or treating. Hmmmm have you thought about what your treating so you don't get tricked? I have candy ready in case i get some little munchkins. There are a few kids in the park so i'm hoping they come by. I never had trick or treaters when i lived in a stick house, we lived wayyyyyyy to far out from no where. In fact i took my boys into town for them to go.

Tonight t turned out to be much better then the day. I got my first little visitors a fairy & batman, i just had to snap a picture of them. Then my neighbor had a fire going in her pit and several of us sat around chatting. As I was visiting we had another visitor who was looking for me. One of the little boys in the park who comes to visit me was out and about looking for candy, so i went back to my camper and gave him his treat. Then another little boy came by. It was great seeing the kids and it was the perfect night for a campfire and visiting.
Hope you all had a great Halloween ..... Until next time ........

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Beautiful Day!

Wow, it was nippy this morning and right now it's a sunny 67 degrees! I have went from jogging pants to shorts. The windows & door are open and there is a nice breeze. I have celery & onions cooking on the stove for my veggie soup I'm making for dinner. Smells really good .. mmm making my tummy growl with hunger. I took a walk a bit ago, i was looking and listening to all the different sounds. It's amazing what you can hear when you just sit and listen. I love it when i can open my windows & door and enjoy a fall day. The trees don't seem to turn colors in the south as they do in the north. The trees were so pretty when i was in the north. I love fall colors. I have spent my afternoon outside sitting in my lawn chair and just enjoying a beautiful day.

Hope your all having a great day! Until next time .....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's nippy here

Wow, it's been nippy here the past few mornings. When i woke up it was 34 degrees! It made me so glad to be back inside of Ms. Southwind. I turned on the heater and in no time it was nice and comfy in here. The past few mornings i have been lazying around in my flannel jammies. Yes, i love to lounge around in my jammies, i am most comfortable in my pj's. Ms. Southwind is an older model, has no slides. I have received some looks by others who see what i live in and they look their nose down at me. But to me she is the most wonderful RV in the world. I am very happy living inside of her. She gives me all the comforts i need. I have running water, a bathroom/shower, a refrigerator, stove/oven and a wonderful comfy bed that i can stretch out and get my needed sleep. I have electricity and the most wonderful thing is when i tire of the area I'm in i can pack her up and start her wonderful engine and her wheels are rolling me to a new area for new adventures. Living inside of Ms. Southwind i have all the comforts that those who drive newer and much more expensive RVs have. It does make me sad that there are people in the world who do not have the same comforts that i have living inside of Ms. Southwind.

Monday since it's been cooler here i made a pot of potato soup. It was so delicious! I love soups esp when the temps are cool. Tuesday i spent the day cleaning up Ms. Southwind and then i had to go get my laundry done. Ughhh i hate doing laundry, but it's a must. I cooked a nice dinner last night. Since the temps have been cooler here i baked pork chops for dinner, mashed tators, stuffing and was it ever good. mmmm

Today i have a pork roast in the crock pot cooking for dinner. Tonight will be roast and then the left overs will be made into veggie soup and stored into containers for heating up later. I ended up running around most of the day. My neighbor came over and invited me to go to Goodwill with her and of course i couldn't refuse. Well after spending several hours shopping in Goodwill, i purchased an electric skillet & blender for $3.00 each! We decided to go eat Chinese for lunch. We had such a good time that we ate a bit and then chatted, then ate again. We ended being there 2 1/2 hours! No wonder they kept looking at us so strangely .. LOL After lunch we decided to head to Wal-mart and yes we spent several hours just looking around. Although i did find a good deal on a pressure cooking I've been wanting to buy some time. They had them on clearance for $9.00, plus i had to purchase potatoes for my roast. It was a great day and we had a wonderful time and it's amazing how time flies when your having too much fun.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Being homeless ….

With all that is going on with our world today as we know it if you have never been or even thought of being homeless and forced to live on the streets maybe it’s time you did. Living the life of the homeless is not a good experience. Sometimes things beyond our control happen to us and yes sometimes things happen to us because we think we can do things to better ourselves and then those plans don’t work out. After all isn’t it the American dream to better yourself and own a house, cars and your own business? Isn’t that why we have so many illegals crossing our borders to experience and live the American dream?

As a child I was never homeless even though I have gone through some very hard times. With a step dad who was very physically abusive. I have known what it’s like to go to bed hungry. I know what it’s like to have a empty stomach. I know what it’s like to wear ragged clothes. Although my clothes were ragged, they were always clean. I know what it’s like for people to make fun of you because you are poor. Kids and adults can be cruel at times. I was raised on welfare. My step dad didn’t care about me, he just cared about the money he got from the government for having me. As a child I can still remember rummaging through the neighbors trash cans for what ever food they threw out.

With the foreclosure rates the past few years and the projected foreclosure rates ahead of us. Our economy is in the toilet and people are literaly being forced to live on the streets, weather it be a park bench or the only vehicle they own. In American today we have children living on the streets with their parents. The banking industry has created a mess because they got greedy and now that they are paying the price for this greed they are even getting greedier. They are taking everything that a person owns and they don’t care what it does to the person their doing it to. All they can say is their just doing their job, they feel for the person their doing it to, but it’s their job.

I know that there are people who are living in a vehicle and doing it by choice weather it be to cut their expenses or just wanting the freedom to move about our beautiful country. But try imagine what it’s like for a person who was forced from their home to have to live inside of such a small area? What kind of mental, emotional and physical stress this takes on them?

Let me tell you what my experience has been living in a vehicle as a disabled person. I started out by cleaning out the trunk and re-arranging and sorting making room for cooler and clothes. The back seat was loaded down with my wheel chair, blankets & pillows as it gets cold in the north.

Got up before dawn and after my last night of sleep in a real bed the car pulled out of the drive way. Not looking back heading for the unknown. Around 2.30 pm it was time to stop at McDonald’s and get the dollar meal burger & fries for lunch/dinner the only hot meal of the day. Later an Aldie’s was spotted and I decided to swing in before they closed. Food was purchased and it was getting late, so it was time to start looking for night camp. Drove around and went and saw some old sites and finally around 1 am found a nice quiet parking spot. After settling in and getting comfy, was fast asleep. Although I kept waking up several times and made sure my secret spot was still a good place for some needed sleep. Right now the temps are still nice enough that sleeping in a vehicle is doable in northern Illinois. I stayed nice and comfy all night long. Of course I had 2 blankets and a sleeping bag wrapped around me.

I woke up once it became daylight, I was wide awake, so I dug out my embroidery and worked on it for a bit. Finally around 8.30 am it was time to head to the first place of business finding a rest room! Man is it ever cold here!! I had to struggle to get from the back seat and outside and into the front seat. Cold weather is hard on my disability and makes me very stiff and my body just doesn’t bend and move very well. The heat from the car heater felt great! A gas station was found and used the bathroom brushed teeth, hair and washed off ready for a new day. It poured down rain most of the day. My back was aching and reminded me why warmer weather is much better.

After the day it was getting late and a night time spot needed to be staked out. It’s amazing how many campers are out in this cold weather. Car dwelling options are slimmer when the campers are out and about. Once Nov 1st hits, then car dwelling options are much better. Went to the local lake and stayed until around 9 pm, check out time was 10 pm. During the time here, the car was once again re-arranged the vehicle from day living to night living. Making your vehicle appear during day light hours that it’s not being lived in is a must. This evening while looking for the next night camp, a Wal-mart was spotted and stocked up some snack foods. After finding the night camp, headed back to Wal-mart it was decided to park in their lot for a short nap, then around midnight it was time to head to night camp for the night. Decided to sneak into the State Park and since I have stayed here on numerous occasions, I knew the regular routine. Found a nice secluded spot, enjoyed a midnight snack and then settled down for the night. The alarm was set. After a good cat nap at 2.30 am it was time to quietly go to the bath house and get a nice long hot shower. Oh how wonderful was that shower. After showering, returned to the secluded spot and took a few more hours sleep. The alarm went off around 5.15 am, back to the shower house for a potty break and then quietly left and found a empty quiet parking spot between 2 semi trailers being stored. It was back to sleep, as always around 8 am I woke up and worked on my embroidery.

Around 10.30 am it was time to find the day camp area. Around 5 pm decided it was once again time to stake out the night camp. On the way decided it was a splurging night and got some Woody’s fried chicken. Mmmm it was so good. Purchased the smallest bucket they had, mmmm that means get to have chicken again tomorrow. What was so great was since it was so close to closing time got the chicken at a discount price, plus they gave more pieces then normally … wow even better yet!!

Drove about 40 more mins and decided on another local state park, (a different one). Drove around the park and found what thought would be a nice secluded spot for later. Then drove down by the water and enjoyed supper. Boy is it ever cold down here by the water. 9 pm was check out time for the day use area, so moved over to the parking lot near the visitor center and parked. I decided it was time to test staying in the rich area and see if would get stopped by the cops. Was parked about 40 mins when behold a sheriff cop car showed up. The officer parked his squad car in front of me with his head lights on bright and yes, he even turned on cherries & blue berries (why I don’t know, it wasn’t like I was going anywhere, I saw him coming toward me). Walked up to the car and asked what was doing. I told him I am disabled and needed to rest my back, which I wasn’t lying, as I was snuggled into my bed in the back seat. He shinned his light on my wheel chair which was also in the floor board of the back seat and my legs were squeezed in beside it. I then held up my apple that I was eating and stated I was having an apple for my snack. He asked for an ID and who’s vehicle I was in. I replied it was mine, he looked at my ID and asked where was I heading and why I was in the parking lot. I replied resting my back and eating a snack and once again held up my apple. The officer then said he’d be right back and went to run the ID and car plates. While he was doing this another police officer showed up but didn’t get out. The officer returned and said everything came back okay. I asked him if I could use the rest room at the day area and he said no problem. So headed over to the restroom and then on the way. Well the test was done and yes if you park at Pere Marquette State Park in the parking lot of the visitor center the police will show up. Although the officer was very nice and didn’t say had to leave, left on my own as the parking lot was lit up too much for my sleeping. Drove about 30 min’s to Hardin, Il where I needed to go to the bank in the morning. Parked by the river in a public dock lot and spent the rest of night with no trouble. I woke up around 6.30 am at daylight, embroidery awhile and around 7.30 am I had to find a rest room, cleaned up for the day. Went to the bank and finished my business and by 9 am was back on the road.

It’s definitely a challenge living this lifestyle. I can honestly say it’s much more difficult then living inside of a camper. I have the so much respect for those who live in such small places. I’m sure a van would be a must for living inside of. At least then you can install a bed where you can fully stretch out! Living inside of a car you can never stretch out completely, you don’t have heating or cooling because it’s too expensive to run the motor all the time, being disabled your medical condition is worse, my back hurt none stop. Having to sneak into a state park during the night time or where you can find to just be able to get a decent shower. But living on a small income all corners must be cut. It’s difficult as a disabled person and I’m sure it’s not better for a healthy person. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their homes and are living this vagabond lifestyle because they are forced to and not because they want to. It is very stressful. It makes a person truly appreciate what they do have. If you have never lived this lifestyle you need to try it just for a few days and then when you see a homeless person weather it’s their choice or they are forced the lifestyle you will have compassion and more understanding to their struggles of everyday life. I can’t even imagine what those who are not foruntate enough to own a car and live on park benches, in any alley or under a tree or culvert do it. I know even though I was dry when it rained, it was miserable! I can’t imagine not having shelter.

The sad thing is millions of people are living this lifestyle because they have no other options and that is just so sad. Our government is spending billions to other countries, for Wall Street and yet we have millions living on the streets because they have no choice.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Visiting back home

I got to visit back home and see my grand babies. Living the life of a vagabond keeps you away from family. Although i do try to talk to my son and my grand daughter as often as i can. It's not the same as being there and giving them hugs, kisses and just spending grandma time with them. Of course Grandma had to take pictures of her precious princess and little man.

Hailey is great big sister, she is a mother hen over Toby and even calls him her baby. Toby adores his big sister, no matter what mood he is in when she walks into the room and he sees her, he instantly starts smiling. It's amazing how much they have grown in 6 months! I called when i got close and then my son called to see how much longer as Hailey kept asking and sure enough Hailey was waiting at the door and waving as pulling in the drive. She came running out of the house with no shoes or coat to see me. Of course i opened the car door and she was in my lap giving me hugs and kisses. Once i got my Hailey time i went inside and got my Toby loving. He is like his big sister, he loves for grandma to give him all kinds of kisses. I was worried he wouldn't know me as i have only seen him one time since his birth. But he smiled at me as if he knew who i was and went right to me for his grandma kisses.

Of course when it came time to leave, it is always hard and there are always tears. Leaving and knowing it will be awhile before you see them again is always hard. Even though i get pictures emailed to me about once a month, it's not the same and leaving your precious loved ones is always hard.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Passing of father in law and great niece

Sunday Oct 12, started out a nice day but ended with sadness. My oldest son called to say my father law passed away. He has been sick for some time. My father in law has fought diabetes for years and never really kept it under control. It affected his legs, eyes and numerous other organs. It finally got the best of him. He is now in a better place. May he rest in piece.

Tuesday Oct 14, was my father in law's funeral and that same afternoon my sister called to let me know that my oldest brother's oldest grand daughter passed away. She was 19 yrs old with a 6 month old son. She was in a serious car wreck 3 weeks ago and her injuries were just too much. So on Thursday night and Friday was her services.

It's been a crazy week and so that is why i haven't posted. I hope you all had a better week then i did ... until next time

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oldies Cruzin

Decided to go and see the oldies cruzin car show. It was awesome. Lots of old cars. Although
the roads were packed and traffic was bumper to bumper. It was still a great time and i enjoyed seeing all the oldies. I talked to the owner of this 1957 Buick skylark, there are only 3 in the world like it and 2 of them are located in the USA and the other is in another country, i forget where they said. It was a pretty awesome ride.

This red & white car was one of my favorites, isn't it just a sweet car?

The campground here was packed with campers and trailers, i don't think there was a empty spot available.

Empty lots and parking lots were also filled with campers and vehicles. As you can see, there was no place that had a empty spot available. People everywhere and old cars & trucks where ever you looked.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Still down under

I am feeling a bit better today, although i have really been down in the back big time. I have spent most of the week laying around on a heating pad, sitting with a heating pad. In fact i have not been far from my faithful heating pads.

Even though my back is feeling a bit better, i am still really sore and have to be careful how much movement, bending or anything i do.

Earlier in the week we had rainy, dreary days, now it's perfect weather. Day time temps are low 80's with a nice cool breeze, the evening temps are a bit on the cool side. Although since i have been stuck inside Ms. Southwind, i haven't gotten to enjoy this weather. Brings back memories of Illinois when the trees are turning colors and you can feel the fall in the air. Trees are not turning colors here and i'm not sure that they do. Spring & Fall were always my favorite seasons back in Illinois. The days can be spent sitting outside and the evenings sitting around a campfire roasting hot dogs, marshmellows and making smores.

The stock market seems to be still be falling. I'm just thankful i don't have to worry about losing any money. I've decided to watch the economy, yet not let it worry me. I will do what i've been doing for the past 21 months and that is taking one day at a time and enjoying each day as there may not be a tomorrow.

Hope your all having a great day .. until later ........

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Aching Back!

Well today has been a day of laying around and resting my aching back! I did get my laundry done yesterday. After coming home my back started to let me really know it was not happy.

Of course the weather change does not help my aching back at all. It rained last night, my pain got so bad, i was sick to my stomach and keeping pain med's down was almost impossible! I dug out my ever so faithful heating pad and spent the evening and all night on it. The rain continued through the night and most of the morning. It's been a dreary day here.

I have spent my entire day laying on a heating pad, checking blogs, reading RV forums and following the stock market plunge.

Looks like my evening will be spent the same way. No fun for me until my back decides to let up.

Hope your all having a great day and until later .......

Monday, October 6, 2008

My weekend!

I spent the entire weekend just relaxing, staying away from the TV, radio and internet that had anything to do with our current economy. It felt so good to not worry about it.

I just took several walks, enjoyed mother nature. The nice breeze we had all weekend. Did my weekly grocery shopping. Sitting outside, visiting with my neighbors, doing some reading and embroidery. Of course i had to get online and check the blogs of those i follow who are actually getting to travel.

I also spent yesterday watching the race at Talladega, wow the 2 pile ups they had and way to go Tony Stewart. Although i would of liked to have seen Kyle Busch win, but I'm happy for Tony.

Last night my neighbor had her fire pit going, it was so good to sit around a fire pit and watch the wood burn. I hadn't done that in so long. Although i had to come in and take a shower, as i smelled of smoke!

It was a great relaxing weekend, although i paid last night for too much walking. I was up and down about every 2 hours with my back. I love this cooler weather, although my back doesn't!
I am going to be looking for a new doctor here very soon, as i have a feeling i am going to have to get on at least a small dosage of my winter meds. Living with a disability is frustrating. There are so many things you'd love to do, yet you are very limited because of your disability. I woke up early with my aching back and decided to get up, I am moving slowly and no walk this morning. I finally got my cleaning done from the weekend and later I'm going to go do my laundry. I am on my last set of clothes! After my laundry it's going to be a day of relaxing and resting the aching back.

Hope your weekend was great and i wish you a wonderful day and week ahead of you ... until later .......

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Willie Nelson concert!

Well from my postings this week you can imagine what i have done. Yes, I've had my TV on CNN and other news stations almost 24/7. I am not usually one who is consumed with politics and i am not one who will post my views. But i have found recently, it has fired up the flaming soul i have. Anyway, last night i finally put all that aside and a friend I've met had free tickets to see Willie Nelson and asked if i wanted them. Of course i jumped at these tickets. My husband use to sing Willie all the time, he is a huge fan.

Yesterday afternoon i got dressed, packed my over night bag and we headed to see Willie Nelson. He was at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS. We spent the night for free at the Hard Rock. It was a great night! Willie put on a great show, it was a sold out event. After the show, i decide to waste a few dollars in the machines. The high roller i am, i put in $20 bucks and cashed out with $35.75, so hey i made a $15.75 investment. Then i decided to walk around and tour the grounds some. I sure wish i hadn't forgotten to pack my camera. Willie and his crew were loading up their buses and Willie was signing autograph's of course, i had no pen or paper so i missed out. But i did get to briefly say hi and shake his hand. Willie and his crew had 4 or 5, i can't remember buses, all alike. It was a great night after such a ruff week.

I am now back inside of Ms. Southwind and it feels so good to be back home. I found that even in fancy casino's i just don't sleep like i do inside of Ms. Southwind. The weather here is just beautiful! The mornings & evenings are bit cool, but a sweat shirt solves that. The daytime is beautiful, the door is open and sitting outside and exploring is great in this kind of weather. Today, I'm going to start walking again, sitting outside, do some reading & embroidery and enjoy life as i can. I've decided to stop watching the news, stop watching and worrying about our economy crumbling. I'm going to do what I've always wanted to do before becoming a full - timer and have been doing the past 19 months. I'm going to enjoy each day for what it is and pray that tomorrow will be another beautiful day in the full time life style.

That i better enjoy my life now, as you never know what tomorrow may bring. Yes, i will watch the evening news as i did before this past week, but I'm not going to let it consume me as it has this week. Come election day, I haven't decided if i will cast my vote for president, as i honestly can not and feel that neither of these men are the right person for the job. They both slapped we the voters in the face and neither of them have a spine. Normally, i would vote, as I've believed that it's our duty to vote. I am not sure i feel this way anymore. I am not sure that my vote even matters. I know my opinion's don't when it comes to those who represent us.

Have a great day and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Try to behave of course if your like me, trouble is my middle name ... Until later .........