Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Stamp & Camp with Mary 6 Month Anniversary - 6 month of being homeless by choice.

6 months of being homeless by choice.

6 month’s today we sold our house in Cheyenne and choose to be homeless, or at least in the traditional sense of the word.  For the past 6 months our home has been a Jayco Jay feather 24RL.  A year ago  I would not have know what that meant and many of you may not know what that means.  It means we live in a Jayco trailer that is 24 foot living space, 27 if you measure hitch to rear.  RL  means Rear Living, our couch is in the back.

6 months ago I was hoping we would be able to do it for 1 month and really hoping for a year.  Don was not comfortable with it and it is a little unsettling not having a place to go to if something happened to us.  Where would we go if one of us was ill and needed to recoup?  A 24 ft trailer does not make a good place to rest and get better.   Don was more concerned about it than I but it still wears heavily on both of us.  But off we went on a journey of a lifetime.    

This is the journey we have been preparing for 2 years but talking about most of our life together.  That first step was hard.  Handing over the keys to our home and realizing the keys to our new home fit any Jayco trailer.  We rushed in buying a trailer you know we were only looking for 3 years but had to make a final decision in hours. 

We have learned a lot on this journey, even things I didn’t think I would learn.  Yes I knew we would learn all about living in a trailer, pulling a trailer, traveling, living together in small spaces, how to continue my job/hobby of Stampin’ Up!, learning about new areas and places, different campgrounds and a little about ourselves.  Some of the things I didn’t think about was some of Don’s life before me.  He is a reluctant talker especially about earlier times but as we drive around and look at new places and see new things, he seems to be more talkative and I have learned a lot about his time in Vietnam and growing up a Forest Service Brat.  It is great to learn so much more about him in turn learning about us. It does put a lot of things in perspective of about our life together. 

Some of the other things we have learned.

  1. There is so much off the main highways you just have to get off and see it.
  2. Most people are very friendly, and it is a small world.  We find people who have lived in areas we have lived and know places we have been. 
  3. There are a lot of full time RVers out there.  2 types of them 1 those that stay in the same place but live in a trailer, 2 those that pick up and move to see the country.  We may stay in an area a month or two in the future but I would not like to have permanent none movable home my trailer, unless it was way bigger and had better insulation for both hear and cold. 
  4. A lot of folks bring their pets, mainly dogs though I did see a few cats, camping.  Those are also split into 2 groups.  Those that believe their pets should not have to be on leashes because they would never hurt anyone (even though they think that, no one else knows that about a strange animal) Then those that believe they should obey the rule of keeping your pet on a leash any time out of the camper.  In the past I have been bit by dogs, even some that their owner said wouldn’t hurt anyone, so I am very suspicious and afraid of any dog I see off leash even if their owner is right there. I only seen a few dogs that would obey at one word and those were working dogs who unless working are usually on a lead. I have learned to carry my walking stick when ever out walking the campgrounds and yes I will use it. 
  5. We learned not all campgrounds are like they are described in their Website, facebook or descriptions, and to believe the Good Sam ratings on campgrounds.  KOA campgrounds are usually a known quality they cost but you can usually depend upon a level of cleanliness.  Other campgrounds are pretty much a well we will see.  With Good Sams you do know if they have a 8.5 or above then they are more reliable to be good.  NEVER ever stay at anything less than a 5 unless you have to and then don’t rely on it such as clean bathrooms or even working bathrooms.  We have found a hierarchy of campgrounds – Government campgrounds are usually on top.  We have spent time in 2 National Parks will talk more about those later but the cleanliness is usually up there, State Parks mainly good ones but have run into a few that did not make the top though they were no where close to the bottom more on par with a KOA. After Government are the KOAs – mainly cookie cutter campgrounds but at the top of knowing what you will be getting.  Then we have the RV Resorts, private campgrounds and others, these are the ones if they have a Good Sam rating at least you know someone has looked at it sometime.  You will notice a lot of these are former KOA campgrounds, how do you know, check out the office is it an A frame KOA type building.  Yes there is a reasons it has dropped off the KOA listing.  More on the type of campgrounds we like later. 
  6. Learned that if it rains for 2 or more days have a plan to go somewhere even if you have to drive an hour to find a movie.  We have not killed each other but during rainy days it was tough and we did take some long drives in the overcast, rain fog or just miserable conditions.  
  7. Make a list before you do your shopping.  We have always known this but it really is something you need to do so you don’t have to drive 20 minutes a second time to pick up what you forgot and really need, like toothpaste or toilet paper. 
  8. Don’t hold on to any hurts, slights, or angry words, especially when setting up, moving, and breaking down.  Learn how to say you are sorry even if you don’t think you need to. Talk and listen to the other person.  Sometimes you may have to listen a few times and answer the same question a few more times, but you only have each other and it gets hard if you don’t talk to each other. 
  9. Take time to talk to your neighbors you may be surprised what they are and you may need them.  Most we have run into are very friendly and helpful. 
  10. Be prepared if something can go wrong it will and be flexible and try to see the bright side of whatever happens. 
  11. There are reasons why people live in the areas you visit find out why, you may be surprised at the gems you find.  We found some great wineries at places we would never have suspected. 
  12. Learn to play games, sometimes places have no TV or internet and it is nice to play a game. 
  13. Winter is the South is not as warm as you think if you are from Wyoming.  WE had to buy heavier clothing as we really thought we would be in shorts and T-shirts all the time.  I can count on my fingers the number of times I wore shorts.

These are just a few things we have learned there are so many more things. But I will keep it down.

What are some of memories in the last 6 months.  Well there are so many but I will touch on a few.

For me the best place we have been was Big Bend National Park.  I worked there in fact it was my first Park Service job and it was like coming home.  We spent the time at Rio Grand Village RV Campground the concession run one.  Was really not a great campground in fact we laugh about some of these campground being like parking lots well this one was a parking lot.  2 parking spaces per site.  The regular Park Service Campground were closed because of the shut down but they did not have full hook ups and we knew we needed full hook ups so the parking lot we camped in.  IT was not so bad especially as you could walk around the Rio Grand or take numerous hikes.  In fact we only spent 1 day semi in the campground.  WE hiked most of my old haunts, didn’t get up to the South Rim but did do a few Chisos hikes.  Went to Mule Ears, Santa Elena, Boquillas, Hot Springs and more.  WE decided even though there was no Wifi except at the laundry area and no cell phone except a stretch by Panther Junction we will be heading back.  It took me 38 years to make it back (Don once said he never wanted to go to Texas, so we didn’t, now he does) we will try for a campground host or some volunteer position.  Such a great place.

Another National Park we visited was Hot Springs in Arkansas.  It was a par campground that actually had full hook ups which is not very common.  They had some great hiking trails out of the campground and I got to use the a Hot Bath and massage.  I tell you it was great and will be back if we are anywhere near that place.

In Gibson Louisiana  we had a great time at the Gator Park and doing a swamp tour.  Best part was meeting up with an old friend and having her show us around slave quarters, and a plantation.  To say it was a great day was easy, we saw areas we would normally not have seen.  Next time maybe we will kayak in New Orleans.

Christmas was spent in one of the bottom rung campgrounds but we did get to spend it with Kayla and Meigan which was nice.  Kayla has now moved to Madison WI so we may not get to spend Christmas together again for awhile.  Meigan spent here Christmas and Spring breaks with us and we learned that for 3 people we may need to find a different trailer or maybe a Motor Home.  WE did convince her that she could not come live with us this summer so she has a job on campus and will be living on campus this summer, hoping for an international study abroad in Australia this fall.  Wonder if we can get the trailer over to Australia, I bet they rent them.

Had fun finding Tea Rooms and Wineries.  Never though of Arizona as wine country but it is.  Almost every state we have been in we have found wineries, well in most of them they said in Oklahoma that there was a bunch of wineries but out of 3 we were not able to find any of them opened, oh well. 

We have found out about 55+ Active Communities and fell in love with them and have visited many and think we will settle down in one of those when we do settle down.

Today as we were discussing this 6 month anniversary we talked about it.  Don had said that he would give it 6 months but has found it not so bad.  I was hoping for a few months knowing this was way out of his comfort zone and I am pleased we have had 6 months and we both have said we could do this even longer and if we don’t find the perfect place yet it is OK that we can do this.  Still a little shaky on not having a home base.  Would love to work around having to go back to Cheyenne for Doctors every 3 months, it is great to see friends, but the travel is not the best.  In fact our Doctors appointments are Monday and they are predicting snow on Monday night and Tuesday.  We  have met many fulltime RVers in our travels and a lot say they started out not knowing how long they would be doing it but have now been doing it for years.  I am just glad and happy we have stepped out of the comfort zone and did something like this instead of talking about it for years more until we could not do it.  Talk about taking a big chunk off your bucket list.

Have we had problems yes, a hole I put in the trailer wall, someone ran into our truck, and many other small things but all in all it has been a fun 6 months and we will continue to do our RVing Full Time for some more times.  We have yet to see some of the places we want to do, such as the Northeast and Central America. 

Join us on the rest of our journey.

Happy Stamping and Camping

#simplestamping - April 24, 2019 - #simplestamping Incredible Like You & 17 - 19 In-Colors

Another Great Day with #simplestamping  This one uses the retiring 17 - 19 In Colors plus Incredible Like You Stamp Set.  I really love easy and quick stamping and this card is really colorful.  I wanted to show you some of the colors before you will not have the opportunity to get them anymore.  Remember these colors will be going away on June 2  get your refills and markers or the card stock now before they are gone.  Click here to see all 17 - 19 in-color products.

Here is the card you will see me make today.

It uses 3 of the in-colors  out of 5 that is pretty good.

So let's see how to make this #simplestamping Card.

Product List

Supplies: Stamp Set - Incredible Like You [148708]; Ink - Fresh Fig [147144], Berry Burst [147143], Tranquil Tide [147146];
Whisper White Note Cards & Envelopes [131527]
Stamparatus [146276].


  1. Set up The Stamparatus with the Flower and ink up with Berry Burst. 
  2. Set up the detailed Flower and with Fresh Fig stamp off then stamp on the Note Card
  3. Set up the leaf stem and stamp with Tranquil Tide.
  4. Set up the saying and stamp with Berry Burst.

Please take a moment to comment at the bottom of this post and let me know how you liked my projects or ask me a question about the technique used.

Do you Paper Pumpkin?

May is going to be super for Paper Pumpkin.
This May, you’re in for a treat. Paper Pumpkin has teamed up with Shelli Gardner, Stampin’ Up!’s board chair and cofounder, to deliver you a very special Paper Pumpkin kit. It’s exclusive, collectible, and one of a kind. Die-hard Paper Pumpkin and Stampin’ Up! fans won’t want to miss this special edition.
The look and feel of this kit is all Shelli. It’s elegant, feminine, and so full of springtime details that you’ll probably just want to take a walk, breathe in the fresh air, and then go home and stamp every card in the kit. And the box it comes in? We predict that you’ll be keeping it . . . like . . . forever. Wait and see.
Would you like to see a peek?  Here is a video from Shelli

Click here to subscribe now.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Stamp & Camp with Mary #simplestamping - April 17, 2019 - #simplestamping Country Livin' and Wood Textures

Today in #simplestamping I want to show you a great card that is for a man and even a woman.  I have problems making those men cards.  No frilly flowers,  no bling, no bright fun colors, so this one meets those, making a perfect man card.  Now it is just not for a man it can be for anyone and in fact I sent some to my friends in Cheyenne.

I love this card as it says I miss you and I do miss my friends but it also says that you miss the old times, like the truck misses being used and driven for what it was made for.

Let's Take a look at making this #simplestamping card.

Product List

Supplies: Stamp Sets  - Country Livin' [Wood 141922, Clear 141925], Itty Bitty Greetings [Clear 146667, Wood 146664]; Ink - Tuxedo Black Memento [132708]; Card Stock - Whisper White Note Cards & Envelopes [131527]; Designer Series Paper - Wood Textures 4 ¾ x 3 ¼  [144177]; Accessories - Glue Dots [103683], Stamparatus [146276].

  1. With Wood Textures Designer Series Paper and the Stamps set up the stamparatus.
  2. With Memento Black stamp the Designer Series Paper.
  3. Attach the Designer Series Paper to the Note Card.

Well I hope you enjoyed this card.  If you have please either click on the photos above to shop or click here to shop at my store.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

There's A Card Thursday - April 11, 2019 - Stampin' Up! By the Bay Layered Card

 Today we are making a card of layers.  I call this one By the Bay Layered Card. Using the rectangular Stitched Framelits makes this a great card and with left overs you can make another card of frames.

Don't you love this set  By the Bay?  You can also combine it with a few other sets we have but also great set by itself. When I use it I feel so peaceful and content.  How would you use this set?  I know it is a Sale-A-Bration set but a lot of folks also choose it as I did as there first free stamp set.

Let's get down to making this card.

Product List

Supplies: Stamp Set - By The Bay [149739]; Ink - Tuxedo Black Memento [132708], Old Olive Stampin' Blends Markers Combo Pack [144597], Soft Suede Stampin' Blends Markers Combo Pack [147273], Crumb Cake Stampin' Blends Markers Combo Pack [144601], Soft Sea Foam Stampin' Blends Markers Combo Pack [148059], Balmy Blue Stampin' Blends Combo Pack [148544], Smoky Slate Stampin' Blends Markers Combo Pack [145058], Pool Party Stampin' Blends Markers Combo Pack [144605]; Card Stock - Blueberry Bushel 8 ½ x 5 ½  [146968],
Call Me Clover 5 ½ x 4 1/4 [146969], Lovely Lipstick 5 ½ x 4 ¼ , Very Vanilla 5 ½ x 4 ¼, 5 ¼ x 4  [101650]; Accessories - Glue Dots [103683], Big Shot [143263], Rectangle Stitched Framelits Dies [148551].

  1. Using the 3 biggest Rectangle dies cut out frames from the Very Vanilla, Lovely Lipstick and Call Me Clover.  Make sure the dies are centered as you can use the frames later for another card.
  2. With Memento Ink Stamp the Cottage and saying on the Very Vanilla Layer.
  3. With the Blends color the cottage scene
  4. Attach the Very Vanilla to the Lovely Lipstick and then to the Call Me Clover.  Attach all to the Blueberry Bushel Card Base.

Just a reminder that I am ordering up the new catalogs.  You can get a free catalog from me if you have ordered at least $50 of product from me in the last year.  If you would like a free catalog delivered to you place your order by clicking here.

Hope you all have  a great day.