Now A Proud Member of Hitchitch.com

I feel like I have made the BIG TIME. My blog has been picked up by Hitchitch.com. This is how I started my adventure....by reading about other full-timer RV blogs. Thanks Ron and Terry!!! Thank you, Maryanne. I am listed on her great site Frugal RV. These are great reference sources.











Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thor’s Day?

Well, we made it to Thursday. Do you know why Thursday is call Thursday? It was named for that antiquated god, Thor. So it's actually Thor's Day. I had an employee one time that would get all excited on Thursday. He would always greet you with, "Happy Thursday". I asked him what was so special about Thursday. He said, "Why Boss, Thursday is nothing but  'little Friday'. I thought that was kind of clever. So now we have Moan-day, for Monday, Hump-day for Wednesday, and Little Friday for Thursday. Friday has several nicknames. TGIF, finally Friday, or my favorite, date night. My favorite neighbor calls it that. She also has a name for Saturday night. She calls it 'sin-night'. She's quite a clever one, that Mary.

Of all the people here in my hometown, I'm gonna miss Mary the most. She is more than just the neighbor, she is my friend. She is also my confidant, my lovelorn advisor, and a fellow traveler on the spiritual red road. She doesn't want me to move. I wished I could just scoop her up and take her with me. She has become as dear to me as a mother. She is 17 years older than I am, and teases me about things I'm in store for. When I turned 47 I complained about minor aging issues, such as getting tired quicker, or going to bed earlier and getting up waaaay earlier. She laughed and said, "if you can't take 50, you're in for a whole lot of surprises. Wait till you're 64." I laughed, because that was 1997. She was right! Here's the video.....




Well? Will you? (still need me?still feed me?) I have a pretty good idea what my Social Security check amount will be. I'm not sure if I could live on it, but in seven months I'm going to apply for my early retirement SSI. I have done the research. I have narrowed it down to the following two paragraphs.

Is it better to take reduced benefits at age 62 or full benefits later? The
answer depends, in part, on how long you live. If you live longer than your
break-even age, the overall value of your retirement benefits taken at full
retirement age will begin to outweigh the value of reduced benefits taken at age
62.
You generally reach your break-even age about 12 years from your full
retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 66, you should reach
your break-even age at 78. If you live past this age, you end up with higher
total lifetime benefits by waiting until full retirement age to start
collecting; otherwise, collecting benefits at age 62 may be better.


I know we don't know when were going to die, but I don't see myself living until too ripe an old age. The night before my grandmother died, I had a long conversation with her. She was 92 years old. She made me promise her that I would not live as long as she has.



I do have some ideas on what I would do if, dread the fact, I got too sick to travel. Do you know about the S.K.P's? They were originally a full timers co-op. Now they are so much more. The Escapee's organization is based in Livingston, Texas.(not Lewisville). http://www.escapeescare.org/. As you read in that link, be sure and check out C.A.R.E. here's a couple of things from their website.

Friends may offer to help, not realizing that a "little help" will become a need for extensive help with no end in sight. Is it fair to put that burden on neighbors or relatives who have their own lives to live? There has to be a better alternative than depending on neighbors or trading your RV home for a land-based residence. There is! It is located in Livingston, Texas, and it is called CARE (Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees). Its mission is to provide a safe haven with professional assistance at affordable prices for members whose travels are permanently ended because of age or temporarily interrupted because of health problems.
CARE is a place where you will receive professional help for the things you may no longer be able to do. It is not a nursing home. Its goal is to delay or eliminate the need for a nursing home
.

What it boils down to is an RV park called Rainbow's End. They pull the aging RVer into a spot, and then try to take care of you. You get your meals, there is an LVN, someone helps around your rig, and cleanup inside for $800 a month. I don't know about you, but I would much rather do that than go to an assisted living facility. Just saying......

Tired of paying for high gasoline? Click on this link and look at this cool motorcycle. Warning!!! It's not a Harley.

I have hired three able-bodied young men to help me move the furniture out of my house. Were going to spend all day Saturday, doing this. So much for sin-night, huh? I'm going to move out anything that is not absolutely necessary. I'm getting to the point of no return. After the house is emptied out, I'm going to do some very minor repairs, put the superclean on everything, and then put my house on the market. I have decided to try and sell this house myself. I can always enlist a realtor if I am unable to do that. I'll let you know how moving day turns out.

Thanks for stopping by, it's been lonesome here without you.

Michael

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Itching to Get There…….

If you read the header, you found out that RV0777 has been included on that fabulous, full-time RV site, HitchItch. I am proud and humbled at the same time. Thank you Ron and Terry.

After the excitement of seeing my blog listed yesterday, it was down to business. What kind of business? Poodle business. What could a poodle possibly need? Food, shelter, toys, love, and a routine grooming. There is just no way around it. Every 4 to 6 weeks, I take my little guys to the groomer. I don't do it as much in the winter time as the summer, because I think they appreciate their fur coats. Cammie and Toby don't like going, I can tell by the way they shake when we get close to the groomer, but I know they appreciate their new style and I appreciate their new aroma. Even though it's about $70 every time we visit, I believe it's money well spent. Like I've said before, they think they are people. (That includes sleeping on the bed) Here are the before and after's:



before

after



It is really a pretty morning here in West Texas. Like most of the Southwest, we have had some very windy days, lately. Most of the blogs that I read on a consistent basis are full of complaints about the wind. I even read a few this morning about them getting rain. Here on the southern plains of Texas, we have not had any rain since October 2010. That's going on to six months without rain, y'all. This is starting to get serious. Our economy is very dependent upon the farmers. Cotton is King in these parts. I think it's time to pray for rain. In my Easter post, I included two of my favorite Gospel hymns. I found this one yesterday, it's one of my new favorites. I really enjoyed watching Carrie's colleagues, other famous musicians, paying homage to her. You can see the looks of amazement as she hits unbelievable notes in this fabulous rendition of an Elvis Presley classic. This is also the best guitar lead I have ever heard from Vince Gill. Enjoy!



I have to be going now, we're getting furniture moved out of my house. Progress! The March continues towards my dream. I'll talk to you later.

Michael

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, Everyone!

I mean that sincerely. Happy Easter! It seems appropriate to me to put on my very favorite gospel song. I looked for the original version, listened all the alternative versions, and this one was my favorite. Please enjoy this video.


I'm feeling so happy this Easter, I will put on my second favorite gospel song. I have loved this one since I was a little boy. I hope you like this version.




For me, Easter is always been a season of rebirth and rededication to my goals. If you have read all of my posts, you might recall the master list that I made close to the beginning. I find it easier to make a list, then scratch off items as I make progress. I am halfway through my list. My main goal is to liquidate all my crap (excess junk), sell my house, buy an RV (toy hauler), and hit the road, Jack. I'm not going to say I'm not coming back anymore. I have friends here that have been my friends for many years. It's not that I want to get away from anything (some things though). I just want to be free.


Tomoka State Park
(the jungle)

I long to awaken in a pine scented mountain meadow and have my coffee in beautiful and natural surroundings. I want to cook over the camp fire, again. I want to walk with my children and grandchildren through the redwood forests of California. I want to ride the Tomoka jungle and the Old Kings Highway in Florida, with my brother, like we have on the Harleys, so many times. With these goals firmly in mind, I feel a rededication of myself in my march towards making my dream a reality. I got a call from brother the other night. His advice to me was grind, grind, grind. He said he didn't care if I had to drink coffee all night long for the energy to finish this house sale. Okay, I'm going to grind so hard, I may break the grindstone. He was right. Summer is coming on, and it's the best time to sell a lakeside house.

Since it's springtime, and Easter, I had a hankering for some hot rod music. Let me introduce you to Junior Brown. Junior is from Austin, and lives on Lake Travis. I have even been to his house. Junior is a guit-steel virtuoso. I hope you enjoy this. Get a load of his backup singers.(who are those old farts?). Wow!


This is the second blog I have done today. The first one didn't have anything to do with Easter, so I saved it for later time. It was about opening of mind and perspective, and about transformation. I guess it did have a little to do with Easter, huh? And loyal readers, I promise to keep up with my blog during all this grinding.


Michael

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All’s Well (now)

I'm back. My two friends and I had an excellent ride. (until the last day). When we left last Thursday, the wind was already up to gale force, or 40 miles an hour, gale enough for me. All we heard about was, watch out for the wildfires! Here's our first stop and you can see that West Texas truly is a diverse land.


Along the way, we did see some burned-out land. Once or twice, we did smell smoke. These pictures are between the border and Fort Davis. It's sad to see this, but it is natures way. If we could get some good rain, this land would come back with a vengeance, and before this season's over.


View from the Harley

This was down along the Rio Grande, the river ride, we call it. Right across the river is Mexico. I thought this movie set was extraordinary. Larry McMurtry is one of my favorite authors. I have read practically all of his books. And who doesn't love Lonesome Dove?



Michael and George

TR and George. I told them
this pic was going
on the net

While I'm on the McMurtry subject, are you familiar with his son James? I think this guy is terrific and have seen him in person several times. I'm impressed with the father and the son. Way to go McMurtry's.


One of my very favorite parts of this loop we just made was Fort Davis on Saturday night. We met quite a few characters, heard some sad stories about the fire, and just had a mellow evening. We stayed at the Stone Village Tourist Camp.click here It was built back in the 30s and has been recently renovated. I thought my little room was so cool. The front wall and front door were made of screen. It was very cool with a light breeze at night, which makes sleeping perfect.

Stone Village Tourist Camp

5" gash and the side-walls
still hold. Thank God.
We left relatively early Sunday morning, skipped breakfast for a bigger lunch later on, when this happened. I'm about 4 miles south of Pecos, Texas on Highway 17. It's one of those things that every motorcycle rider dreads. I had a rear blowout doing 70 miles an hour. I have owned and ridden motorcycles for over 45 years. I've never had a flat on a parked motorcycle, much less one at highway speed. I didn't really have time to get scared, just trying to hang on and get my bike stopped. I finally hired a guy to come get me from Odessa. He brought a dually truck and trailer, loaded me and the Harley up, and took us to town. I spent the night in a motel and the Harley spent the night the garage. Monday at lunch, I was back on the road, headed home. Here's a few more pictures of the trip.


Rio Grande



I love Texas!


Mighty Fine!

Thank you all for coming by, I enjoy your company.

Michael

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Couldn't Resist

I am almost ready to leave on a 4 day Harley trip with two VERY good buddies. I just had to put this up. More tonight!

Michael

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Heading out Tomorrow!!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone, how are you? It looks like the fires have calmed down and the Harley trip is ON!!! We will leave here (Thursday at noon) and head on down to the Big Bend. While I have you on the line, I'd like to show you my "other camper".


This picture was taken a year ago in, of all places, Fort Davis. See the trailer I'm pulling? Inside it are all the comforts of home. Since we are taking George with us, it's considered 'too hot' to stay in a tent. I'm not going to complain because I like air conditioning, too. It's time for me to get a new tent, anyhow. I haven't worn this one out, I just don't like having to get down on my knees to get in and out of it. My, how things change when we become, well let's just say more vintage.


When not going to leave until 12 noon. That's good for me because I can wait until morning to get the Harley ready. Really, that's not gonna take me very long. I try to keep my vehicles in top shape. You never know when you got to bug out, right? Speaking of bugging out, my friend Sonya has started writing in her blog, again. She has not been very active since last fall, so I was a little worried that she had changed her lifestyle. Her's is one of the first blogs that I read about the full-time RV lifestyle. She is quite a character. She carries a concealed handgun, quite well, I will add. She travels in a modified VW camper van. Read about her here www.faliaphotography.com/. While you're there, read what she says about bug out kits.

  I'm not really busy right now, so I think I'll start getting ready for the trip tomorrow. I promise to keep you posted. Here's some Harley Road trip music, just for you.





Thank you for stopping by. Now I must get on with the business of R and R.
Michael

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Well...We're Moving on Out..

I sold my record collection today. It was another one of those bitter - sweet things. I have mentioned that I was going to do this, now it's done. There were over 2000 albums that I have collected over the past 45 years or so. I got paid $3000. I can't argue with the money because it's always in $tyle. And I can't argue that I wanted to keep them. There's no room in my toy hauler for 20 boxes of heavy records. When I say heavy, I'm serious about that. They were being stored in my upstairs closet and the first thing my friend said was "don't you have a dumbwaiter or something"? I said "no, just us two dummies". We had to take two 10 min. breaks during the process of moving them down stairs. We took them to his warehouse and believe it or not, he has over 50,000 record albums stored it in there. I mentioned to him that a dollar sale sounds good. I also cautioned him to do something with them so the task would not be left to his survivors. I'm sure I'll find a use for the money. I did comment to TR that I should have collected dollar bills or gold coins or something that would pay better. Can you imagine if we had been smart enough to collect gold coins? Or ingots? We could all live like these guys......




I made good progress today. My dream of becoming an RV full timer is really coming into focus. Now some of my most precious possessions i.e. record collection, guitars, PA system, drum kit, many amplifiers and various cars, campers and a Jeep, have all been sold. My house is not empty yet, but it's getting there. I appreciate that I have plenty of time to liquidate all my excess stuff. It makes it a lot easier. My beautiful neighbor has told me for many years, "IF you can hold it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand." I need one of those positive, feel-good tunes. Let's see, how about.....




You know we are gonna go on the Harley trip Thursday, right? The original plan was to go to the Big Bend area. If you keep up with Southwestern Texas news, they have a big fire down there. I've been through there many times and can't imagine what could be burning. The vegetation is pretty sparse. Of course, some of the fires are in the Davis Mountains. They do have trees there.

It is still incredible to me that I am making progress towards the dream I have had for many years. After all, I've been in the same house for 24 years. I know I will have to make adjustments because of my new lifestyle choice. I certainly know I'm going to have to continue downsizing. I do have my moments when I think I could be making a mistake, but those are short lived. I feel like I'm creating a whole new life for myself. And truthfully, that's what I'm doing.

Another day down in the march towards my dream,

Michael

 
 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's Dedication Time…sort of like on the Radio.

You know what? This is the second time I've written this post today. When I finished it earlier, a glitch in my programming completely zapped it out before I could save it. Is that ever happened to you?  How irritating!

This first dedication goes out to my friend Sassy. She is in California right now. Denise is a gal after my own heart. She's a full-time RV'er and rides a Harley. Meet her here! This one's for you pal, turn it up. (I hope you like it).


Every morning I have coffee with the Hermit. He entertained me with Johnny Cash yesterday. Johnny is one of my all-time heroes. I narrowed it down to two dedications. This is for you Jim. (I hope you enjoy them). You can have coffee with Jim, too. Here.

Remenber when Eric Clapton looked like this? I do.
Watch the end when he jams with Johnny.

I know it hurts. R.I.P.

I had dinner with two of my favorite friends last night, TR and Patsy. I love those two. It looks like TR and I, and our friend George, are going to Big Bend this coming Thursday. I'm excited because the three of us haven't been on a Harley trip together since last summer when we went to Ouray, Colorado. I'm going to take the computer and the camera with me so I can post while I'm gone. This will be the first time I've done anything like that. I was excited last summer when my cell phone quit working the first hour that we were on the road. Of course, I had a responsible job then and it felt like playing hooky when my phone broke. I don't think anyone will be calling me about municipal emergencies this time. Even though this is a Harley vacation with two good friends, it does turn the pressure on a bit. But don't worry, I think I can handle it. Here's a dedication to you three guys going to the Big Bend Thursday. After all, isn't it an American law to enjoy your freedom? Should be.


Hope your Sunday is terrific and I'll type at you later. Thanks for stopping by.

Michael


Friday, April 8, 2011

Take the High Road

Did you ever have one of those days? Let me tell you about yesterday. The temperature did get up to 82° , but the wind blew about 40 mph. All the cotton farmers are doing their spring plowing so there was lots of dust in the air. Ever determined, I went to Sutherland's for some indoor/outdoor carpet. I have a landing where the carpet needs replaced. They were having a 25% off sale so I thought I would just pick it up and go home and fix it. I stood by the carpet rolls for a solid 30 min., ask two associates, (I guess they were flunkies because they couldn't do anything ) who said they would get me someone that could help me . I didn't get upset, far from it. I just got in the truck and drove to the Home Depot. The exact same scenario happened there. I decided I didn't really need carpet right now.
All Clean and Ready for Action
 I did stop at coin-op car wash and washed the truck. One of the disadvantages of my dually conversion is that it will not go through a car wash, now. No problem. Little elbow grease and about five dollars worth of quarters got the job done. Some days are different than others. Cue the video.....


I don't really know what it is with me today. I'm not depressed, really. Things are going my way, sort of. I looked for an inspiring song that fit the situation. My hero, Billy Joe Shaver, has one that fits. It's name is "the Highway of Life." I could not find it on the web or YouTube so I guess I'll just post this one ...




For the last few months, I have really been behaving myself . I think I'll just go out tonight and see what the world has to offer . Sometimes I feel like I'm suffering from depression. Why should I do that? I have my dreams unfolding right before my very eyes, so maybe I'm just impatient. I need to buck up and get on with it. My brother even called me from Daytona Beach this morning for a pep talk. He told me he had already seen six toy haulers being pulled by Ford pickups. Of course, Florida has more than its share of fifth wheelers. I'm anxious to add one more. Today I'm going to take packed boxes to my storage room. All of these boxes are marked "RV". They are intended to be my first load of "stuff" that goes in my new home. I also buried my St. Joseph. Learn about it here. I don't know if it's gonna help, but it can't hurt.

Okay, all this John Fogarty and Billy Joe Shaver has made me restless. I'm going to give the Harley a wash job, get my motor running and had out on the highway. It's time for me to go bust some bugs. Maybe this is just the spring version of the summertime blues. I'll let you know.That's all for now, hope you all have a blessed day.

Michael

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Got Poem?




Standing Deer
As the house of a person
in age sometimes grows cluttered
with what is
too loved or too heavy to part with,
the heart may grow cluttered.
And still the house will be emptied,
and still the heart.
As the thoughts of a person
in age sometimes grow sparer,
like a great cleanness come into a room,
the soul may grow sparer;
one sparrow song carves it completely.
And still the room is full,
and still the heart.
Empty and filled,
like the curling half-light of morning,
in which everything is still possible and so why not.
Filled and empty,
like the curling half-light of evening,
in which everything now is finished and so why not.
Beloved, what can be, what was,
will be taken from us.
I have disappointed.
I am sorry. I knew no better.
A root seeks water.
Tenderness only breaks open the earth.
This morning, out the window,
the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
(The Lives of the Heart)

I found this poem and thought it was good. I took the pic last fall.

Michael

Monday, April 4, 2011

Manic Monday?…..Nope. It’s Cool

Today was a good day, despite it being Monday. After some fierce negotiations on both sides, the record deal is done! I threw in some extra stuff and he threw in some extra dollars. My friend is getting an excellent collection. Of course it helps that he owns a record store. I went back to the old sayings when my neighbor quoted me " A bird in the hand is worth two birds in the bush". I would also add that LP record albums are a buyers market. It's a relief knowing my collection will be appreciated, not just put the dumpster by my survivors.

NICE!
I went to Walmart today, or as my former associate called it "The Walmarts". Have you ever noticed that some people say Walmart, while others say Walmarts, or the Walmart? Anyhow, for the last few months I have been doing my shopping at Walmart. It just seems like the RV code. We're welcome that most Walmarts for the occasional overnight stay. For many years I had shopped at a tri-state chain. I thought it was time I got used to Walmart. To be honest, I miss some of the customer service but I appreciate the savings and the availability of most anything you want or need. Any store with that kind of overnight stay policy, I am going to patronize. When I finished shopping there I went to the SunHarvest "natural" food store. It's the only store I have found that sales Nolan Ryan beef. Have you tried Nolan Ryan beef? I think it's the best. Read about it here. It was on sale for $6.99 a pound. What a bargain.


Today went so well, I didn't know how to take it. I'm not a negative person, but I seem to always have this feeling of impending doom. You know, like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's not something I struggle with, like some kind of addictive behavior, but I always think things are too good to be true. Usually, I play or listen to music to find a more positive space. I like this one:


This next one I have loved since it first came out in 1986. Steve Earle showed the world a brand-new way of doing country music.This is a great highway song. If you're not familiar with this song, please give it a listen.


I have to admit, I just love that Shiite-kicking music. IYGMD (if you get my drift). LOL. Now I need to ask you a question. Have you enjoyed some of the old cartoons? I'm putting one on now that I'll bet you have not seen. Yes, it's a cartoon. But be forewarned because it's a different type of cartoon. It's a dark cartoon, dealing with darker subject matter. It's actually a cross between music video and cartoon. Let me know what you think.


Thank you all so much for taking an interest in my endeavors. It means a lot to me. And like I said before, I'm open to some constructive criticism. That's all for now, I have to go get up early tomorrow. It's furniture moving time! WoooHoooo! I'm marching towards my dream, as always.

Michael

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Git ‘er Done

Do you ever just get a craving? When I got ready to fix lunch today, none of the usual stuff sounded good. So I dipped way back into the past, and fixed something my grandmother used to make. Does this look good to you? Do you know what it is?


That is a bowl of turnip greens. I know, it sounds like I was raised by Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. No such luck, although I've had a few Jethros and a couple of Banker Drysdales in my life. Haven't we all?




Monday is coming up and I have plenty to do this week. I still have a tiny bit to do on the truck, and then it will  officially be a Tow Vehicle. Before I do those things, I have to use it as a moving truck. I am determined to get the house cleaned out, spruced up, and put on the market. Advice I got from you guys and from my homeys, has helped me make up my mind on which route I'm going to take for the sale. I have decided to try and sell it myself. I do have some salesman skills, so we will see what happens. I can always list with a realtor later. Any suggestions? We have a local magazine here called FSBO. That stands for "for sale by owner". It is dedicated to helping owners sell their houses. I will list my house with them. I will also list in the local newspaper. I think I will put it on Craig's list, too. I don't know about eBay, any input?

My Little Town
I know some of you have gone through what I'm going through now. I am so anxious to get my move on. I certainly don't want to waste any of the upcoming seasons. I don't really like the position I am in. I have made up my mind to totally downsize, sell my sticks and bricks, and get on with the business of full-time RV'er. I know, get to work. Gosh, if I only had an inspiring video. Like this:


One of the things I'm sure of, I will not buy a toy hauler without seeing it first. The only units available to look at in our town are Fusion, Road Warior, Raptor and Cyclone.
All four are good units. I have done my research and have found several other brands that I would like to look at. I think I'll go on a road trip to Dallas, and look at some of these units in person. If you have ever been to Dallas, you know they have just about anything a person would want. I just want to be informed about everything that is available in the toy hauler department. Here's a little ditty for you, from one of my old friends, Joe Ely.


That's about it. I'm ready to put my nose back on the grind stone. Git 'er Done, if you will. I expect to make a big showing this coming week. I'll keep you posted.

Michael

Friday, April 1, 2011

No Fool like an April Fool?

Is it proper to say happy April Fools' Day? I contemplated posting a bogus blog today. I don't really think it would worked. Why ? Simply because I feel like my readers are too smart to fall for it. Call it what you may, but I think I have the smartest readers on the Internet. I looked up the basis for April Fools' Day and found one that I believed. It has to do with moving the start of the year from April to January. Those that didn't hear about it and celebrated the new year on April 1, were called April fools.

I did kind of fool my neighbor, though. She doesn't really want me to move. Although she knows I have made my mind up, she just doesn't want to see me leave. So I fooled her this morning. I told her that I've decided to stay put. In fact, I had her convinced that I was gonna be a greeter at Walmart. I think I really got her because she gave me accolades for how good a greeter I would be. I then asked her what day of the month it was. She caught on.

For April Fools' Day, I have decided to present one of the funniest videos I have ever seen. Whether you're a fisherman or not, this stuff is funny. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.



That's all for now. I hope you all have a terrific day. Terrific? Hmmmm... that makes me think of one more thing. I'm sure that some of you will remember this.



Take care, and one more thing. Am I the only one that thinks Bill Dance is hilarious? That's all for now.

Michael (marching as fast as I can)