Motivation Monday!

Ok.. so I totally took this idea from a blog that I follow called Welcome to our Campfire. Every Monday morning I sit and read some of my favorite blogs, catch up on some news and get ready for my week.
Since retirement I find that goal setting and staying motivated is a priority for me.  I have always been a motivated guy, but a new sense of purpose keeps me motivated.
This last weekend I re certified my Wilderness First Aid by taking the 16 hour course again, my third time.  I find that rather than just taking the test to re certify, I like to take the whole class again, I always learn something new.
And that is the Motivation for this Monday.. Never stop learning!  Be a life long learner. There is always something to learn.  I am no Einstein.. but he said it best.. “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”  I for one.. am not ready to die.
Have a Great Monday.. and week!

A Whole new World

19620941_10212181615709065_1052930825452599561_oWhen we purchased our RV in 2016 it was a brand new experience for us.  I have been an avid outdoorsman since I was a little kid.  I have camped all over the place and have been a backpacker for years so transitioning to the wonderful world of the Travel Trailer was to say the least something new and somewhat intimidating… lots of moving parts and certainly a bit more than I put in my pack.
We went to the RV show in Portland to look at RV’s once we made the decision to go that route.  It was overwhelming.  The features, the sizes, the layouts, and all of the stuff.  It seemed that the sky was the limit on how many features and how much you can spend.  Well we settled on what would become the Happy Place.  It was one of those glowing AHHHHHHHH moments.  Teresa and I sat in the Trailer and both agreed that this was the one.  We bought it.
Then came the steep learning curve of moving from the backpack to the RV.  Hoses, hook ups, and of course making it a place that we wanted to be in.. I mean my idea of camping never included dish towels and matching sheet sets.  I’ll never forget the day we picked up the trailer.  The salesman walked us through the retail store at the dealer and showed us all the stuff we “needed”.  And we took his advice and got a bunch of gear that, well. I don’t think we “needed”.. knowing what I know now.
Once we settled in and did our first shake down trip the RV became a bit more less intimidating.  Once I towed it a few times and learned to back it up the rest started getting routine.
The part that I came to love was that trip after trip we got better, we watched other folks in their RV’s and how they set up, took down, and the stuff they had.  I love that the community of the campground, pretty much like backpackers, except backpackers like to spread out and stay to themselves.. unless its time to talk gear.  We started to see better ways to do things and after our first year we had developed our way of doing things and went through our first gear check.  We pulled everything out and loaded the trailer with the stuff we actually used.  The rest went to the shed.  We started watching RV videos on Youtube and extended the community and saw how other folks managed in their RV’s.  It became a fun exercise to see what we could change or add to the trailer.
The tinkering of the trailer became almost an obsession.  That was when I knew we were hooked and totally committed to RVing.  Now, we are not ready for the full-time thing, but longer trips are on the horizon and we will maintain our current frequency of heading out each month to a local destination.
We enjoy visiting local shops, hikes, and the local faire when we roll into a Campground.  It’s a lot different from our old tent camping days where the camp was the thing.  Don’t get me wrong, we love to hang out in camp too.. but now it is more comfortable and certainly has more options for what we do and how we do it.  We often joke as we walk our pups around the loop that it is amazing that we ever liked camping in tents…  And we did.  I still get my share of backpacking with the Scouts, but our Happy Place is the Trailer that is for sure.
It’s been a whole new world for us discovering the wonderful RV camping style.  Don’t think we would have it any other way.. now.
This community at the Camp ground has become a feature we really love.. this blog is our attempt at extending that community.  So… thanks for stopping by our Happy Place!

The BIG 5 List- Favorite RV Blogs

12792175_10205734933827849_3759918189896802780_oIn this weeks Big List we visit the top five RV blogs that I like to read and visit frequently.
Number 1 is a blog that I became aware of because of this families epic RV trips on Youtube. Marc and Tricia and the kids have been around the country, to Mexico, and in the last “season” went to Alaska and back.  I love being along on their journey and learn a lot about tips, tricks, tools, and of course places to go in the RV.
I found this blog via their companion podcast.  This couple and their kids put out some really great content.  I have been following them for some time now and learn some great tips on the RV life from Stephanie and Jeremy as they tackle adventures and build their RV community.
RV Education 101.
This site caught my eye when we first started getting into RVing.  Mark Polk is the host of some great content on this site and I for one have learned a bunch about the basics of having an RV and tips for enjoying the life style.
Live, Laugh, RV.
Here is another blog that is up our ally.  Another couple that is exploring the next chapter of their lives.  If you like trip reports and great photography this is a great site for you.  These folks have taken to the RV and seem to have found their Happy Place.
Long Long Honeymoon.
This is another blog that we found because their super informative videos on Youtube.  Kristy and Sean have a nice camera presence and keep it entertaining as well as provide good content.  While we are not Airstream folks, it is fun to watch as they travel and share their RV experiences.  They are not afraid to be transparent… everything is not always peaches and cream and they show it… as well as what they did to get out of a jam or fix a situation.

Hope you pay these folks a visit.  I know that I am entertained, educated, and made to feel apart of their communities.
That’s the BIG 5 list for this week!  Thanks for visiting!

Wellness Wednesday

Happiness1This morning while I was on my run at the gym I thought about where we are on our journey to Happiness.
Wellness Wednesday will not be a regular posting, but today I thought it important to share a few thoughts.
First of all, what is wellness.  I believe that wellness is one of those “to each his own” things.  Now we can all agree that it has to do with health.. but what makes you well?
I am sure that when we talk about wellness we immediately think of our health, so lets look at it in those terms.. health.. as it relates to our happiness.
Our physical health is very important.  And when I say our I am speaking of not only Teresa and I, but you all too.  This may apply to you and your situation.
So our physical health is very important to us.  We are not super health nuts, we try to eat healthy and are getting into the work outs.  We are three weeks into the gym routine and am really starting to enjoy my time getting healthy.  We both have noticed changes in our selves.  Weight loss, toning, and a general feeling of energy and fitness.
We feel this is important so we live longer and can maintain an active life style.  Looking at family history I think it is important for me to be healthy for a longer life.  My parents are still here and we enjoy the fact that they have been able to watch their grandchildren grow into adults.  They also are going to see a great-grandchild, something that their parents never got to see, nor did their grandparents.  We live in a different time where we have more information and more opportunity to be and stay healthy.  I want to be there to see my grandchildren become adults and perhaps see great-grandchildren.  So we need to stay physically healthy.
Financial Health is an important part of our lives also.  When we are financially healthy we have less stress, we have the ability to do as we want and see our plans become reality.  I retired last month from my career.  The reason I was able to retire was because we put ourselves in a position to be financially healthy.  We will never be millionaires and I doubt we will hit the lottery, but we will be comfortable for the rest of our lives.  I attribute this to forward thinking.  I am no genius and certainly not a financial guru, but decisions we made early in our career, namely to stay in it for 30 years, led to the point where we could retire and spend time living.
Happiness is a big component in our health and wellness.  We strive for happiness in our lives.  I heard once that happy people live longer and make those around them happy.  I also believe that happiness is up to you.  We live in a world that dictates struggle and strife.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Happiness is up to us.. we make it.  We take all of those things that contribute to happiness and make them happen.
Our RV has become a major part in that and to a certain degree, it has become the center piece of how we plan around our wellness.  We have made it a part of what we want out of our lives, who we want to be with, and how we want that manifest within our lives.
The Happy Place (our RV) is our escape, our community, and a focus point to move forward in our lives.
It is family, friends, and a wonderful place where all of our health comes together.
So wellness is important.  It is mental, physical, financial, and spiritual. We find ourselves better for focusing on all areas of our health and wellness.
I feel for those that struggle with their wellness.  It really is up to you to find your Happy Place.
We have found the road to ours.
Thanks for paying us a visit.  This blog is a part of that wellness plan.  It keeps us accountable because it is out there for all to see.
Thanks again!
A happy life starts with a happy Place!

First Frost

lowpointWoke up this morning to a little frost on the windshield.  Yep, it’s getting cold outside.
First thought was “Glad I drained the water from the Trailer”.  I don’t completely winterize my RV as we live in Oregon and our temps in the valley rarely get too cold.  That and we use our trailer all year round.  What I do however is make sure that I drain the water for December and when we are not using it in the colder months.
Last Friday I got under the trailer and opened the low point drain plugs and pulled the plug on the water heater.
2 years ago, not thinking about the heater, I drained everything except the water heater. $900 later I had a new heater and a very expensive lesson learned.  The water heater not only froze, but cracked almost in half and the valve split also.  A total loss.  So now I drain the heater, open all the faucets, and drain the water using the low point drain.  Then I pour RV anti freeze down the sinks, toilet, and shower.  Just enough to put some in the tanks and leave some in the P-traps.  We have not had any issues with freezing since.
In January of this year we went to Bend, Oregon for the weekend.  We decided to take the trailer and camp at Tumalo State Park.  It snowed like crazy and we woke up on Sunday to sheets of ice.  I was glad that I had put a bit of anti freeze in the tanks and we filled our fresh tank so we didn’t have to rely on the city water hook up.  I was not sure if the hose would not freeze.  I did know that the fresh tank would stay above freezing just because of the heater being run in the trailer.  We stayed perfectly warm in the RV and everything was alright.  I was happy that our trailer has an enclosed bottom and the pipes are not exposed.  Running the heater kept the pipes warm as they run next to the heat ducts under the trailer.  When we got back home the temps were back up in the low 40’s.  I checked for leaks and cracks and all systems were fine.
So this morning, when I got up to head to the gym and saw frost on the truck.. I looked over to the trailer and didn’t have a worry.
An expensive lesson a few years back sure was a lesson learned well.  Along with tinkering we do in and on our rigs, it’s always important to stay ahead of those things that can really put a damper on your fun.
Keeps the Happy Place Happy!

Who are you?

So I am taking this “Class” through WordPress.  It is designed to create writing habits and work to building an audience.  So far I am getting some out of it, learning about tools and they give you tips to using all that WordPress offers.
They talk a lot about analyzing stats and using the analytics to build your site and grow.  I am sure that people that are blogging for a business pay close attention to all of that.. I am not sure how I will use it all yet, but I will certainly use the tips and advice.  One of the assignments was to the target audience.  I suppose in order to write that post I would need to have a better understanding of who my target audience is.  I have given it some thought and come to the conclusion that my target audience would be people like me.  People that love to RV, Camp, be in the outdoors.  People that like to tinker with their rigs.  People that are looking for ways to build that happier stress free life.    Yeah.. I guess that’s who I hope is reading the blog… or just anyone that stops by looking something of interest.
SO… who are you.  In order for me to build the blog and grow its audience, help me.  Tell me who you are and why you stopped by.  Feedback is a gift, good or bad.. I would really love to hear about you.
Please drop a comment in the section below.  Thanks

The BIG 5 List- Christmas Movies

For our introductory BIG 5 List we are going to look at the Holiday’s… This is my BIG 5 All time favorite Christmas Movies.
Let me know what yours favorite Christmas Movies are…
Here we go

5.  A Christmas Carol (1951)
There has been many versions of this classic.  Early in High School I became a fan of Dickens.  I think the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge tells the story best for me.
The effects are cheesy, but the acting is superb! A great Christmas movie that brings a chill down your spine and warms your heart at the same time.
4.  White Christmas
What can you say.  This is the ultimate Christmas classic.  The music and dance keep me coming back.  It just never seems to get old for me.  Yeah.. would not make a popular movie these days, but there is something about White Christmas that brings me back to watching it as a kid.  I love Danny Kaye in most everything he did.  This movie just screams Christmas to me.white-christmas-christmas-movies-1534792971
3.  National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
This is my go to silly Christmas movie.  A timeless classic that is full one liners and scenes that come up at every family Christmas party.  Eddy is the ultimate RVer and a classic case of how not to dump your black tank.
2.  It’s a Wonderful Life
You just can not go wrong with It’s a Wonderful life.  A great message of hope and grace. There is something about Jimmy Stewart that will always bring me back to this classic.its-a-wonderful-life-christmas-movies-1534791161
1.  A Christmas Story.
Love this movie for a bunch of reasons, but namely because for years a bunch of our friends have gotten together for a gift exchange and to watch a Christmas movie.  This was the go to movie for many years.
There is something about the nostalgia of Christmas past.  Simpler times perhaps, it makes me want to have grown up back then.a-christmas-story-christmas-movies-1534790083

Well that’s the BIG 5 for this week.  Let me know what your favorite Christmas movies are.  And yeah.. I’ll even give you Die Hard as a Christmas movie…