4 month review

analyticsI would like to start this by saying Thank you to everyone that has paid us a visit, left a comment, and started following this Blog.
We started this blog at the end of October 2018.  The intent was to document our Journey.  I was quickly approaching my retirement date and wanted to have a place to share our Journey as we started a new chapter in our lives.
It’s been 4 months since we started.  This is the 56th post and the numbers are in.
65 of you are following the blog via WordPress.  but it looks like we are gaining some traction with the blog views.
In 2018 we had 626 views from 337 visitors.  134 of you liked what you saw and 5 even left a comment.
In the two months of 2019 we have already seen some growth which leaves us motivated to keep it up and share away!
507 views so far from 309 visitors with 58 likes but already 6 comments.
Ok.. why share those numbers?  I don’t know.
Seriously.  It is not about money or fame, it is about sharing.  We don’t make money on this site and even though we became an Amazon Affiliate and encourage people to visit Amazon using our link.. that money..when we make some will all be going to charity.
So what’s with the numbers.  It’s about exposure.
The more numbers the higher you rank on the internet search engines and thus, more traffic is driven your way.  If we are going to share.. we want to share big!
So, while it’s not about the numbers.. it helps when we know that we are in fact reaching an audience that is along with our Journey.
I just thought it was interesting to see our blog grow in just a few months.  I am curious to see how it grows over the next 2 months as we reach our 6 month mark.. and then again at the end of this year.
Just like the blog we are watching our Youtube Channel as it grows… Extremely slowly.. but from 4 subscribers to 24 (at the time of this post).  Not monumental, but hey at least some one is watching.  I am sure at some point it will get traction also as we get better with our content and production.  Either way.. it’s about sharing our story and having some fun with it.
Thanks again for coming along.
If you are new here.. consider following the blog and check out our Youtube Channel.  And join the community by leaving us a comment.
Thanks again.
Have a Happy Day!

 

 

 

Happiness Tip #3 – The People in our Lives

17201265_10211096623424936_6421052433514078069_nWater seeks its level… and so it is with friendships.
I grew up in an Army family.  We moved every three years whether we wanted to or not.  Where my Dad went we followed.  It was just life and to my siblings and I it was totally normal.  Everyone in our friendship circles were in the same boat.  We all had to make new friends every three years and with few exceptions we never saw one another again.  We moved about half way through my Senior year of High School.  I won’t lie, it sucked. Because of our rotation I had actually been at the same High School since I was a Freshman.  Needless to say, when we got to our next place, we made some new friends, I graduated from High School, then I left again, this time for the Army myself… where I started the process all over again.
In 1988 I finally settled down, met my new best friend and made the decision that this was it, I was planting roots.  The Army took me away a few more times, but by and large we had settled down.  After we got married and made the decision that we wanted our kids to grow up in a “hometown”.
It was fun to watch them grow up and make friends, friends that they still have today.  It all seems so normal.  And as we settled in, we made friends, friends that we love to be with and share our lives with.  These people add to our happiness.
Our friends, family, and people who come and go from our lives all add to our happiness.  True friends that we laugh, cry, and share with are all part of what makes us happy.  We have many friends, few close friends, and lots of people that make up the circle which brings happiness to us.  Through Scouting, I have a ton of friends, many of them I consider family, others I just love to be around.  Through other aspects of our lives we have made friends that are always there and we love to be with.  And our family, maybe because of the way we grew up together is close.  Our family had to circle the wagons every three years and start from square one.  So we adapted to being close to one another.  My Sister (she’s the blonde in the picture) is now one of my closest friends… and we RV together all the time.
So the Happiness tip… make great friends and keep your family close.  The people in your life make a huge difference in your happiness.
I could not be more happy with our friends and family and hope that you have people in your lives that make you just as happy… and never forget the impact that you have on them.  You make them happy too.
Dennis Prager shared this;

“For much of my life, I, like most people, regarded the pursuit of happiness as largely a selfish pursuit. One of the great revelations of middle age has been that happiness, far from being only a selfish pursuit, is a moral demand.
When we think of character traits we rightly think of honesty, integrity, moral courage, and acts of altruism. Few people include happiness in any list of character traits or moral achievements.
But happiness is both.
Happiness — or at least acting happy, or at the very least not inflicting one’s unhappiness on others — is no less important in making the world better than any other human trait.
With some exceptions, happy people make the world better and unhappy people make it worse. This is true on the personal and global planes.”

You can read the whole article here.

I’ll leave you with this.  Baden Powell the founder of Scouting shared this:
“But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”

Be Happy and be the person that brings happiness to others.  You will get more back than you can imagine.
Thanks for hanging out with us on our Journey.
Have a Happy Day!

Happiness Tip #2 – Declutter

16864200_10210956663766032_2572772815531985169_nStuff.. more Stuff… and even more Stuff… Happy yet?

Stuff has become a dominate factor in most people’s lives.  A need to keep up with the Jones’s and wealth being measured in things.  But it does not bring happiness.

OK… I like stuff to, but it is important to know that the stuff should be something that enhances our lives, not dictates how our lives should be lived.

Clutter has caused many of us to loose focus on what is important.  Again, this adds to the stress of life.  I do not suggest I am perfect…. but I do know how to identify and correct problems.  Over the last couple years, we have started the reduction of clutter in our lives.  Everything from financial stress to stuff.  We have learned that there is a line that when crossed adds to stress and reduces our happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind.  When the mind is cluttered it does not function well.  Remember back in the day when you crammed for tests… your mind was so full of information that it could never operate efficiently.  Yeah, you may have passed the test, but you could have done better had you taken it with a mind that was prepared and not stressed.  Our happiness is not dependent on other people.  Keeping up with the Jones’s just leads to chasing our tail.  Getting deeper in debt and ultimately living someone else’s dream instead of your own.  When we declutter and take on our own dreams we tend to be happier.

Now I know that this is not a one size fits all post.  Some people have a strong desire to have more stuff… it makes them happy… until it doesn’t anymore.

What I have seen is people that have a constant need to have the best and newest.  I remember in High School when everyone had to have an Izod shirt.  That little alligator was a status symbol that meant you were part of the “haves”.  I think my shirt had a turtle on it or something, we were not poor or ever went without, but I have never been a fashion guy.. just ask my wife, she’s happy when I match sox.  But having the alligator was keeping up with the Jones’s, and that made High School kids happy.  But then we grow up.  Those of us that no longer chase the alligator move on to happy lives.  Those that keep chasing it never seem happy.. and that is sad.

A reduction of clutter in the home is also a stress reducer.  The home is easier to maintain and allows for life to go one.  Have you ever seen the TV show “Hoarders”?  Those folks are never happy and life is a mess.  So reduce clutter in your life and you see happiness become real.

Stay tuned for our final part of this series on Friday… Your Happiness Tip #3.  People in your life!

Thanks again for hanging out with us here at our Happy Place.  A Place where Happiness is the plan!

Have a Happy Day!

Campers to RVers

img_0057This past weekend we spent at an RV Part in McMinnville next to the Evergreen Air & Space museum.  During our stay there we had many discussions with some “Newbie” RVers.  Among the discussions of our RV set ups and how to’s, we discussed the reasons why we started RVing.
For us it was something that was never really discussed until it was.  What I mean is we have never really considered buying an RV until camping in the tent stopped being fun.  That point for us was in September of 2015.  We were camped at Nehalem Bay on the Oregon Coast.  We have always been campers and avid outdoors types.  We have always loved to hike and explore and get away for the weekends and camp.  As we grew as a family, so did the tent sizes and the gear.  Needless to say, we have gone through many evolutions of how we have camped, but the constant is that we always have camped.  In September of 2015 we made plans, like every other camping weekend.  Head out to the coast on Friday night, set up camp, and enjoy the weekend.  We were camping with the usual group of friends and my parents, who were in there 17 ft. Jayco trailer.  We got into the State Park on Friday afternoon and set up our tent.  The tent was a big REI Hobitat. rei-hobitat-4-cabin-dome-tent-footprint A tent that you can stand up in and move around.  So big in fact that we put a queen size air mattress in it.  The weather started moving in on us throughout the day on Friday and by Friday night the winds were blowing pretty good.  Our puppy was going crazy as the tent flapped and popped with the wind.  The winds got so bad, that the tent was literally folding down us.  Around 5 in the morning on Saturday, we had had enough.  I went into my parents trailer and informed them that we were no longer having fun and we were packing up.  The winds continued to gust reaching 70 mph and trees were starting to snap around us.  So we packed up and went home.  All the way home we talked about our future camping and made the decision to go to the RV show.  In February of 2016, we purchased our Keystone Passport and it has been a wonderful journey since.
But the discussion this weekend was not about why we made that choice, rather, it was about the style of camping that we have embraced.  We concluded that in the RV we participate in two different styles or kinds of “Camping”.  The full RV Park destination camping and getting away into the woods camping.  They have one thing in common, the RV.  The Full RV park destination style takes you to places to go and see.  Like camping next to the museum and heading into town for a nice sit down meal.  Or wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.  Or the Trip to Disneyland and staying at the Anaheim RV Resort next to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Then there is the State Parks and KOA’s that offer the unplug and get away experience.  While we still may have all the hook ups, these get away’s off the out door camping experience while maintaining the RV amenities and comfort.  It gives us the best of both worlds when we have the ability to get out, but retreat into the comfort of the RV and all that comes with it.
The idea that we are always packed and ready for a trip.  The luxury of having the comforts of home while out in the woods and enjoying all that nature has to offer.  It is one of the best things I love about the RV.  It is always ready and waiting on us.  The transition that we made from “Campers” to “RVers” was an easy one for us.  It took us a bit to recognize what we were doing, but we have fully embraced the life style of the RV community.
We look forward to our longer trips that combine both the outdoor experience and the RV Park luxury.
Have you made that transition?  What does that look like for you?  What was your turning point?
Leave us a comment and share your story.

Two Months and all is well

retiredIt’s been two months since my last day of employment.  My retirement day and “ceremony” was nothing special other than the drive home when I realized that waking up every morning was going to be different.  I would have to find a new purpose for getting out of bed.  Life was no longer about waking up and providing for the family, the retirement plan would now take care of that.  For the first week I spent time realizing how life would be different.  I created task lists and to do’s.  I spent time thinking about future direction and the projects that I would be taking on, we established our goals for 2019 and beyond.  And low and behold I became busier that I ever have been.  A good kind of busy though, a busy that is driven by me and what I want to do, when I want to do it.
I have mentioned before that I am very active in Scouting.  Scouting has taken a large amount of my time.  It is time that I love giving as I know and have seen the benefits of the program in building up youth and leading them to be good people that will one day assume leadership in our communities.  That is a subject for another time, but I share this to say that being retired has allowed me more time to give to Scouting.
I was asked a few months before my retirement if I would entertain the idea of leading a major project for the local Scout Council.  Taking on the Committee Chairman position to lead the Contingent to the 2021 National Jamboree.  I accepted this position with the understanding that it would essentially become a full time job (not paid).  And so far it has lived up to that expectation.  There is almost something every day that I have to dedicate to this effort.  Don’t get me wrong.. I love it and it has been a ton of fun…. so far.
But today marks the two month mark since my retirement.  Teresa and I had discussed as we were planning for the retirement what the first few months would look like.  How the money would be budgeted, what to do with my time, and of course, how much time we could spend in the RV.  So with the holidays right on the heals of the retirement, the kids house burning, and the birth of our grandson, it has been a real busy two months.  We did manage to get our in the RV once in November, but it soon became a temporary home while the insurance found a place for the kids to stay.  That is all working out just fine now for the kids and it looks like their house will be ready to move in around April or May.
So in the first two months all things considered all is well.  We are not worried about the money, we are keeping busy, going to gym every morning, and then there is the blog and the Youtube Channel.  Which we have taken on as a project to share our happy life.
The blog is… well you tell me… doing well?  I am not sure what that means or how to measure it.  I see the number of views and subscriptions have gone up, but in the two months since we started it we are not certain that our goal of establishing community has moved the needle.  We have not received feedback and our comments sections are extremely quiet.  So I assume that just takes time and time is something that we have for sure.
The Youtube channel relaunch also has been real quiet.  While our effort thus far has been in getting our plan together as to what our channel is going to look like and we are creating content and plans for future content, the growth of the channel is pretty non existent… but that too takes time and with more and more content we hope hope that it will grow.  For us it is about sharing the story.  We understand that there are millions of options on Youtube, but as we watch other channels we get the idea that there is something for everyone and a place for everyone’s story to be told.  So we will be hanging in there and will continue to create content for both the blog and the Youtube Channel.  It’s only been two months, the reality world that I live in knows that all good things need to grow and that simply takes time.  Time that we have.
It’s been two months to the day… and All is well.
Thanks for coming along with us on our journey.
Can I ask that you if you like what we are doing.. share it with a friend.  Check out our Youtube channel… and again, if you like what you see, share it.  If you don’t like it today.. check back.. the future looks fun for us and what we are trying to do.
Have a Happy Day!

Monday’s Motivation

20-new-year-resolutions-list-2019-619x330Ok then.. you made all those resolutions and are motivated to make 2019 the “Best Year Ever”.  It is the 7th of January… how’s it going? One week into the New Year and I just came home from the gym.  Yep you guest it.  At least a third  less people that started a week ago.  Now I’m not judging here, just saying that if you really want something… DON’T GIVE UP!
You need to set the goal and go get it!  We talked about goal setting in another post and how it can help you find success.  That success leads to more and more success and soon it becomes easier to set and keep goals.  I think that too many people give up because they don’t get immediate results.  I sure worked that way.. but reality is what it is.  If I could write a goal to lose 10 pounds and POOF! It happened tomorrow I would be a happy camper.  But the fact is that it takes work, time, and energy, and most of all WILL.
You need to will to cross the finish line.  Today was hard at the gym.  I felt the affect of skipping two days (had to be there for my Grandson to be born).  The holiday meals and treats caught up and the alarm clock went off way to early.  But it’s the 7th of January and I had to make a choice.  I had to get up, put on the gym clothes and get in the gym.  I had to do the work so that tomorrow will be easier to get up and get the work in.  And so it goes.  That journey starts with a single step, but put a handful of steps together and you gain momentum that will lead you to accomplishing your goals!
So don’t give up.. especially on yourself.
So there is you Motivation for Monday.
Find yourself a reason.. find the will.. and GO FOR IT!

The BIG 5 LIST-Place we MUST go to Camp

As we start planning for future adventures in our RV we have a “Bucket List” of places that we really want to go to and camp.
Places we have not been to and places that we hear so much about that we absolutely must go to.
Here are five of our MUST go places.
barns_grand_tetons1.  Grand Tetons.  This has been on our list to go to for some time.  Being in the Northwest it is not that far and all I hear is that the views are amazing!  Can’t wait to get to the Grand Tetons.
Photo Credit: Jon Sullivan, PD Photo. The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Grand TetonsWyoming.
bryce-canyon-13928152.  Bryce Canyon.  Again a place that is not to far from home, but a location that promises to have lots to see and do.  The views are spectacular and I hear the entire area is majestic.  This makes our top 5 list as a must see and real soon.
pho_722008159_013.  Florida Keys and Disney World.  We are Disney People.. Love the Magic Kingdom and we have never been to Disney World.  We would love to stay at the Ft. Wilderness RV park at Disney and then travel down to the Keys.  Again, the scenery is amazing and the trip would take us from the Pacific Northwest to the Southern Tip of the Country.  This would be an epic journey and we can’t wait to get on the road for this one.  We are actually planning this Trip right now for 2022 to celebrate our 30th Anniversary while we are there.
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4.  New England in the Fall.  This is a place that offers a lot to see and do and a part of the Country that we have never really been to.  I have always wanted to venture in the New England area and see the wonderful landscape of the region.  I suppose one can see that our list is pretty much about the scenery.  We live in a Country that is absolutely gorgeous and we want to see it from the RV.
boats
5.  Alaska.  The Great Land!  I was stationed in Alaska while in the Army and fell in love with this monster of a State.  It is massive and wondrous.  We would love to travel up to Alaska and see the Denali National Forest, visit places I have been and then spend time in Southern Alaska seeing the amazing sites that fill the landscape.
Well there it is.. our Dream Sheet of places that we MUST go and see and camp in the RV. The Journey is the thing with this list and it will take us from one end of the Country to the other and see amazing vistas!
What are some place you would add to our list or places you MUST go see and spend time in your Happy Place.
Thanks for spending some time with us.

The BIG 5 List -Healthy New Year!

healthyI am not a big believer in “New Years Resolutions”.  Time and time again resolutions last about as long as it takes to make them and while it is a great intention, in the end there is no results that come with the resolution.
Setting goals for the new year however, if done correctly will produce results.  In an earlier post I talked about goal setting and how it can give you the results you are looking for.  And so it is that time of the year that we look to the new year and set new goals.  In Scouting Wood Badge terms, we “Write our ticket” for the new year and know that we will get the results that we want.
So for 2019 we are setting goals to be more healthy.  Yeah, there will be other goals, but we think that our health drives much of how the rest of our lives will go.
Being healthier will make us happier, it will allow us to be more active, it will make us feel better, it will reduce our doctor visits, it will save us money in the long run, and it will give Teresa and I some together goals that will make us stronger.
Our Mission:  To develop and Maintain a healthier life style, lose weight (10 lbs), and be more physically active.
1.  Start eating better.  Do more fat free and less processed food cooking at home (or in the RV). We will do this together and hold one another in account. We are doing this to set the tone for healthy habits and lose weight.
We will start now and evaluate how we are doing weekly.  We want to see this as a solid habit by March.
2.  Exercise.  Exercise needs to be a habit also.  To make sure we accomplish this as a habit we are going to add additional exercise elements to our routines.
We will add biking.  Making sure that we take our bikes with us on camping outings.  When at home we will work in biking at least once a week (weather permitting).  When the weather is not in our favor we will do sit ups and squats those days we would be biking.  As we are coming into the worst of the winter months in Oregon, we will double up on the sit ups and squats and reevaluate in February.
3.  Gym Time!  We will be in the gym daily.  Weekends will be our rest days.  Every day we will wake up and go to the gym (continuing the routine we have established since November).  Teresa will maintain her work out routine and I will stay the course on the weight loss running program I am on. Using the Running for Weight Loss App.  This app is available in the Google Play Store also.  So far I really like it which will make it easier to keep as a habit.  I am trying to lose 10 lbs by March.  I will use the app to track that progress and stay on task.
4.  Drink water.  This will be a tough one.  But water will become my go to beverage.  I need to drink more water.  To do this I will start taking a 1 liter water bottle with me all the time.  This will serve both as a reminder to drink water and have water available all the time.
5.  Complete a 5 K run.  Not for time of competition, but just do it.  There is one scheduled on February 2nd.  I would like to be able to do that event.  Once that is complete, I would like to do more.  I will reevaluate that one after February.

Well that is the first set of goals and the BIG 5 List for this week!
What are your goals or if you must “resolutions” for 2019?

House Update- Just Stuff

epy4IY9qSVuMXq0VXVYl+QWell we are 4 days from our Sons house burning.. as expected, it has been consuming our lives since the Fire Department left.  I promise that this blog is not going to be about my sons house.. but until we get this situation to the recovery and cleaning phase it will be at the forefront.  The good news is the process will start on the 26th of December. Paper work goes in today and the insurance is all over it.
The point of this post is this.  It’s just stuff.
Just Stuff and as we enter the last weekend before Christmas it is important to remember that it is all stuff.  We value our stuff and sometimes let our stuff get the best of us.  As we walked through their house yesterday with the contractor that is going to get to the task of getting their lives back to normal we came to realize that with a few exceptions nothing in the house was that important.  The contractor asked what needed to be replaced immediately… besides the house itself…  There was nothing that was asked for.  There was not one item in the house that they could not live without.  That got me thinking.  A computer?  Clothing?  Furniture?  Besides personal items like pictures, everything can and will be replaced.  It is all just stuff.
rbiCzasUTNy3wBzXRfQ%OQI think that is one of the reason I love the RV so much.  There is not that much stuff.  We keep it simple and we make due with the things that we have.
The kids are not homeless, they are just displaced right now.  They still have a roof over their head as they are in our travel trailer… but they have heat, water, and the family right next door.  The stuff is going to be replaced.
We can be upset and feel some sorrow for the loss of the stuff, but at the end of the day they have to look ahead to what will be better.  New stuff.
The timing of this is awful that is for sure.  But nothing important was lost.  Christmas is still going to happen and in a couple of months they will move back into a remodeled home.
It could all be worse so we count our blessings.
Think about how you live and all the stuff.  What is important to you?  This ordeal has put things in perspective for us.
Have a Happy Holiday Season!
This has added to our appreciation of the Happy Place and the Happiness we find in our lives.

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