A Reflection of Another Year Passed

Hey y’all! I decided I wanted to write a reflection of another year we’ve lived as we look to the future for a new year to come. Looking back, I’ve come to realize that every new year comes with its own ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, highs and lows. This year, 2021, has been no exception.

The biggest struggle of this year was social distancing. While it really didn’t faze my husband, daughter, or myself, other members of my family did somewhat struggle with it. Many of the decisions I had to make this year weren’t met with open minds, but nonetheless, I made my decisions and accepted that others would not agree. Life moves on.

My husband and I lost friends this year. A dear friend of ours crossed over into another world very unexpectedly and not a single day goes by when he doesn’t cross our minds lovingly. We miss him, but we must also remember that he is no longer suffering from the sickness that took over his body. I want to include that his health had nothing to do with Covid, but instead other underlying issues which persisted to worsen. His husband, of course, suffered the most from the loss. Unfortunately, as the year drew on, we also lost him as our friend. I can’t say what happened exactly to cause the change in our friendship because I don’t know. We were there for him as much as we could be. The only thing I can estimate is a misunderstanding that I couldn’t change because of other things I was dealing with.

The good things that occurred this year include becoming a published author in February with my book “Y’all Didn’t Hear it From Me: A Journal of Life Stories” which is available in both paperback and eBook through Amazon.com, buying a motorhome and exploring Florida as it was the only state on the East coast I had yet to venture, planning and accomplishing a birth week scavenger hunt for my husband’s 51st birthday (which he absolutely enjoyed), receiving Bindi Irwin’s book signed by Bindi herself for my own birthday as well as a signed postcard personalized with a birthday greeting from Robert Irwin, and completing two different photoshoots with my new Nikon camera. Now, these are just to name a few because honestly, I can’t recall every little thing.

My published book available in paperback and as eBook through amazon.com.

Since we’ve been on the road exploring Florida, I wanted to also share some of the unique sites we’ve seen.

Mickey Mouse ears in Orlando, Florida. We were hoping to see Disney’s castle, but that was a no go, and we weren’t leaving the interstate to find it only to take a chance of getting caught in traffic. Maybe next time around.
A ‘Jurassic Park’ jeep in Tampa, Florida. Sorry the iconic symbol on the side is blurry. I almost had the perfect photo, but an Amazon Prime delivery vehicle photo bombed my attempt.
I thought this was a very unique paint scheme saluting our troops. The wreath hanging on the front is very festive.
A new military utility vehicle on its way to California. The truck driver was also kind enough to allow me to climb up onto the back of his truck to get a glimpse of the inside of this military vehicle. I’ll tell you the inside looks like a very tight space with a couple screens and many, many gadgets and gizmos along its dashboard.
Another unique design on the side of a tractor-trailer parked at a truck stop just outside of Orlando, Florida. Better be minding Uncle Sam y’all.

I would say we’re finishing off the year on a positive note as we make our way back into Georgia to set in what we’re calling ‘dry dock’ so we can work on a few things, improve, and set up for our next adventure. We have many plans for 2022 including our own YouTube channel, but more details to come later, after the new year starts. Until then, we wish y’all a safe and Happy New Year 2022!

Gators In Gator Country

Hey y’all!  We were stopped for a few days at the Love’s truck stop at exit 314 off interstate 75 in Florida.  In truth, this truck stop appears to be no different than any other Love’s truck stop, except maybe a classier looking women’s restroom, but otherwise, the same. 

The difference between this Love’s to any of the others we’ve been to isn’t on the inside.  It’s on the outside.  This place is quite literally surrounded, not by swamps, but by swampy areas.  We parked in the very back, farthest corner of the trucking parking lot, and right behind us was swampy turf.  To each side of us was swampy turf.  They were like swampy ditches out skirting the entire parking lot.  Closer to the actual store is a very alga caked pond that may as well be called a swamp.  The surface of it is so green, I don’t know that anything could live in it, though I did see a crane or two, peck from it. 

The entire pond looks like this caked segment.
I think the crane knew it was being photographed.

Right in the middle of the entire Love’s truck stop operation is a large pond, completely fenced in, and every few feet there are signs to warn you of dangerous alligators.  Now, these signs aren’t just there because the employees think their cool.  No.  There are actual alligators in that pond.  I don’t know exactly how many live in it, but I’m pretty sure there are at least two given what I’ve seen. 

Can you spot the alligator in the background?

The first day we were there, we walked all the way around the fenced in pond, commenting on the signs posted literally all the way around the pond, but we didn’t know any better.  However, after making the full circle, nearing the end, near the truck stop mechanic shop, there I spotted what looked like a 4- or 5-foot alligator sunbathing on the bank.  Talk about feeling blown away because I physically spotted it, from several yards away without any direction!  The next day we took another walk around the pond, this time, on the same bank I spotted another alligator, a different one… or maybe it was the same one. I really couldn’t tell.

Even more fascinating is to see them in motion. Thank goodness it’s fenced in.

It’s fascinating to see these alligators not as residents of a zoo, but in real outdoor life.  What’s even more fascinating is all the birds we see walking around inside the fence, with these alligators.  I’ve seen them skirt the alligators, and don’t think they aren’t fearful of those alligators attacking for a quick snack.  No, these cranes may tiptoe around, at least a good foot away, but they rush their steps the rest of the way once they know they’re clear.  These alligators may be following those cranes with their eyes, but not once do they move, not even a twitch.

The Love’s truck stop celebrity.

It’s interesting because we weren’t even going to stop here at this Love’s truck stop.  Since we’ve been traveling, we’ve stopped in at several truck stops.  We’ve also stopped and stayed overnight in the back of Walmart parking lots, we stayed one night at the back of a Big Lot’s parking lot, but it was located in a strip mall, so in reality we stayed overnight in a mall parking lot, but we bought needed things from places in that strip mall.  We were aiming for the truck stops at exit 341 off interstate 75, but no sooner did we get on the road, after stopping at a Publix grocery store for food supplies, I saw the enormous billboard advertising this Love’s truck stop at exit 314.  My husband was still hesitant to stop because he wanted to get further up the road, but after a little research to find out how big it was, we decided on it, and to confirm our decision, just as we were pulling in, it began to rain.  I don’t like my husband driving the motorhome in the rain.  The motorhome is older, and I don’t trust weather-wet roads.  Given how hot and humid the weather is in Florida, the rain was invitingly refreshing.  The wind that day was quite strong, so that also had my nerves on edge, but now that we’ve discovered the alligators living in the Love’s truck stop pond, it was totally worth stopping in for a few days! 

See ya later alligator!

A Birthday Message To Heaven

Hey y’all.  Today I’m writing to remember a member of my family who has since departed from this world.

Back in 2015, my paternal grandmother passed away two weeks and two days after her 73rd birthday.  It wasn’t a battle against cancer, and it wasn’t as a result of a tragic accident.  I would consider it more of a battle with mental illness, though unfortunately she would have totally disagreed with me, but that’s how she was.  She hadn’t always suffered with mental illness, it gradually developed sometime after she turned 60 years and she simply couldn’t handle that she was only getting older.  She didn’t like that she was getting older and unfortunately, this was her mental downward spiral.  I’m not speaking ill of the dearly departed, I’m sharing what I can recall of her life story as it was. 

Like every person in this world, she had her ups and her downs.  She lived life and she made mistakes, like we all do.  She married at a young age and later divorced.  She married for a second time and became the victim of spousal abuse.  She divorced from him as well.  She would have married a third time, but given her previous two experienced marriages, she was fearful, so she simply lived in her loving relationship without the paper marriage.  Unfortunately, her decision to not marry came with the cost of his unexpected passing and she was therefore left with nothing but her memories with him and his belongings.  It was a very sad time, but also a bright beginning because it was during this time that her only child, her son, needed her help. 

Her bright beginning began with helping to raise her two grandchildren, myself and my younger sister.  I was 13, my sister was 10, and our mother had left our dad.  Our situation gave our grandmother a new purpose; a reason to smile again and life proceeded.  With us in school, Granny became very active in school functions.  She chaperoned our field trips, took part in the PTA, she even actively took part in our fundraising endeavors, driving me exclusively, door to door when selling hoagies for the school booster club or Christmas wrap and delicious treats to benefit the cheerleading squad.  Granny really enjoyed supporting our school’s academic efforts.  However, her school support would only last but so long because as time goes by, I would soon graduate, and later, so would my sister.  With my graduating from high school and moving out on my own, and then my sister graduating and moving out on her own, it was hard on Granny, but she quickly acclimated to a new life that no longer included raising a couple teenagers. 

Granny loved to travel, and she went places.  She frequently went to Alabama to visit a friend, she traveled with another friend to Salem, Massachusetts, she traveled with my dad to Minnesota and visited the Mall of America which is best known for its enormous Ferris Wheel, and she accompanied my dad to several company Christmas parties while he was in the trucking business.  When my dad was forced off the road due to climbing health issues, Granny’s traveling slowed way down. 

Granny always believed that age is just a number.  It’s a good belief to live by, but one must also accept that aging means changes in one’s health.  Her physical health wasn’t always the issue, but her mental health was another story.  Her inability to accept she was no longer as young as she felt she ought to be, or wanted to believe she was, became the fallout of her life.  Both of her grandchildren now with families of their own and her son living his life as a grandfather, she yearned for a new life and new friends.  I can’t count the number of times I would suggest senior centers, or my dad suggesting groups she could get involved with, but she wasn’t interested because, to quote her, “I don’t want to hang out with old people.”  She may have been in her mid-sixties, but her attitude was that of a 30-year-old, and she refused to believe otherwise.  Believing you’re younger than your actual age is one thing, medically altering yourself so others think the same is another.  Unfortunately, this is when she truly began to lose her true self.

It started with fixing a hernia she’d been living with for many years.  This hernia, her doctors told her, was about the size of a grapefruit, but wasn’t causing any bodily distress.  Her only problem with it was in her physical appearance.  She claimed it made her look like she was eight months pregnant, and to quote her again, “No man past 50 wants a woman who looks like she’s about to give birth.”  I nicely reminded her a few times that no one would think she’s pregnant being her given age.  She may have felt like she was 30, but she didn’t look 30.  She looked her age; early to mid-60, and she looked good for it.  She didn’t even look pregnant.  Well, not to me.  She still insisted she get the hernia fixed, and so she did, but not without complications to immediately follow.  One procedure led to another, led to another problem, led to another problem, and not all these problems were related to the said hernia.  First there were complications with the mesh used to reposition the hernia.  Then there was a problem where her body was physically rejecting the mesh and this in turn caused her to become very sick.  After that, things were fixed, and she recovered.  Well, because the issue was fixed, she moved on to another personal cosmetic complaint.  Her eyesight.  Following a couple appointments with the family optometrist, she was scheduled for eye surgery so she would no longer be required to wear glasses 24/7.  “Glasses make me look old.” She spoke.  After her eye surgery, I swear she spent hundreds in sunglasses of all styles.  Finding out her favorite country music singer, Kenny Chesney, had his own line of sunglasses out, she wanted and requested a pair of each, and following research to price his line of sunglasses, she went absolutely ballistic as his sunglasses went for $150 per pair.  She wasn’t upset with Kenny Chesney about the prices, she was upset with the company selling his sunglasses, as if he didn’t have a hand in pricing his own merchandise. 

I would like to say that following her medical journey, things turned around, but they did not.  Instead, things took a much different turn.  Though she wouldn’t admit it, she deeply missed the man I still call to this day my grandfather.  Her first husband was my grandfather, but he passed on while my dad was still young.  The man she loved dearly, but never married is the closest I had to a grandfather on my father’s side.  She missed him dearly and loved him like no other, and truth be told, she was lonely.  So, she decided to check out dating sites.  There isn’t much to say here, except that her loneliness combined with her missing my grandfather as much as she did, left her very vulnerable.  As much as we all wanted her to seek help, there was absolutely no talking to her.  Not a single person could get through to her.  Not her family, not her friends, no one. 

It’s hard to watch someone you love, suffer from physical and mental health, knowing there’s nothing you can do because the person refuses anything and everything.  This is what happened to Granny.  She chose to shut everyone out and deteriorate before our eyes.  This was no longer my grandmother who took us to Luray Caverns, put together my sweet sixteenth birthday party, or celebrated my first acceptance into college after high school.  Now she was only a shell of the fun-loving woman she used to be.  The only part of her previous self that remained was her obsession with Kenny Chesney, with magazine photos plastered all over her bedroom, like a 16-year-old heart throb. 

Today, my grandmother would have been 79 years old.  Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her in passing, whether it’s a Kenny Chesney song that plays over the radio, when I’m cooking one of her favorite dishes, like her late mother’s family recipe ‘chicken slick’, or when the holidays roll around each year.  Christmas was one of her favorite holidays, and I think it’s mainly because she enjoyed spoiling her grandkids.  Her favorite Christmas gifts to me and my sister was the first Christmas we had with her after my mother left my dad.  She got us matching charm necklaces.  Mine read ‘Big Sister’; my sister’s read ‘Little Sister’.  Unfortunately, neither of these necklaces exist anymore, having been lost over the years.  Still, today would have been Granny’s birthday and had she still been with us, I would have called her.  However, heaven still has no contact number and therefore is not taking phone calls. LOL. 

I do know that the day she passed, December 29th, 2015, she went home to be reunited with not only her mama, but also the truest love of her life, the man she never married.  I feel better knowing she isn’t suffering as she was, and she is truly happy again.  Happy birthday Granny.

A Florida sky full of clouds. Granny loved Florida.

Morning Coffee

Hey y’all, how do you feel about coffee?  Personally, I can’t go without drinking at least a cup of coffee every morning.  In a way, it’s my wake-up liquid alarm clock.  Even before we set out on the road to explore America, my brain simply will not work without my dark roast caffeinated hot beverage. 

My coffee preference is solid dark roast, but I’ve been known to settle for medium roast, not that there’s anything wrong with medium roast, it just doesn’t do it for my caliper of thought.  Medium roast tastes too weak for my liking and where I typically drink 1-2 cups each morning, I would need to drink an entire pot of it just to wake up.  Just for the record, I’ve never drank an entire pot of coffee by myself, but I know people who have.  For one, my husband.  The other is my late grandmother.  My grandmother, when she drank an entire pot of coffee, she wound up washing her entire house, from top to bottom… literally.  I drink 2 cups and I get a body buzz. 

Since being out on the road, I still require my morning dark roast, even if I have to run a generator to have it.  If I can’t run our generator, I settle for truck stop coffee; the largest one they have because it’s always medium roast.  I’m not complaining, just stating a personal fact. 

My favorite coffee brands are Green Mountain: Dark Magic, Private Selection: Guatemalan, and Folgers: Black Silk, but I’m always open to others in the dark roast category.  I drink my coffee either piping hot, or iced, but I can’t drink piping hot coffee once it’s cooled to room temperature.  Well, I can, but I don’t like to because it’s like drinking a soda that has long since lost its carbonation.  Yuck!  However, being on the road, it’s not like I can add an ice cube to the last three swallows before emptying my coffee cup, so I just drink it because I’m not wasting my coffee. 

Well, y’all, having said all that, I hope you’ve had your morning coffee, enjoyed it, and are as ready for another day as I am.  My family and I will be hitting the road again before long.  The weather outside appears to be a bit on the cloudy side and the temperature are rather humid today compared to the past week.  Until next time, thank you all again for reading and for following me.  More to come later!

Enjoy your coffee this morning while looking at some fluffy clouds. (Punta Gorda, Florida)

Punta Gorda, Florida

Good afternoon y’all!  As we have continued further into our traveling endeavors, we’ve certainly experienced many things.  For instance, the town of Punta Gorda, Florida.  The weather was nice and hot throughout the days and cooling at night.  For the most part, Punta Gorda is a quiet town, but there really isn’t much to do.   We watched airplanes of various sizes fly in and out, but that’s about it. 

One of the many planes we saw flying into land at an airport nearby.
Another plane we saw flying in.

Through one Saturday there was apparently an ATV or motorbike race of some sort going on not far from where we were parked that made the area sound like Talladega in April.  As the day drew on and the sun set, the noise grew louder to the point that when we went to bed, you would have thought they were racing the roads outside our camper.  The noise wasn’t bad, but our cats were acting crazier than they normally do.  They were acting out so badly, they were being absolutely annoying.  The youngest one exclusively.  I don’t know what her issue was.  Between using the kitty box, running rampant throughout the camper, and bathing herself rather loudly, it was like she was thinking, ‘How can I annoy the humans to the absolute max?’  Being the youngest, she still wears a bell on her collar because it’s easier to keep tabs on her at any given time.  Unfortunately, she loves sleeping on my pillow at night, so when she gets an itch she must scratch, and it’s like an alarm going off sporadically throughout the remainder of the night. 

Parking in the back lot, dirt lot of a Pilot truck stop, we met a homeless musician living out of his SUV, waiting for his next gig.  He seemed like a decent guy; he simply experienced a rough turn of events when a previous gig fell through which caused him to lose his place when he couldn’t pay his rent. 

While parked, we got to watch a few truck drivers practice their parking.  The main driver seemed to have an African or possibly Jamaican dialect.  He was the one giving instruction, so for several hours, in the basking heat of the afternoon, we watched each of them take their turns pulling up and backing into a course of traffic cones set up by the main guy giving all the instructions.

Later into that day, we watched another guy, driving a white SUV, turn off the main road into the dirt lot, only to do a single doughnut burnout which of course stirred up a massive cloud of dirt, and then drive off.  What his purpose was for doing that, we don’t know, but I will say we were not impressed.  Sure, a doughnut well done, buy why?  As soon as he did this, we jumped to close our camper windows, or the dirt cloud would have completely permeated the entire camper. 

After the sun went down for the night, we were relaxing, watching some television when we heard what sounded like a vehicle dragging something heavy down the main road.  Then we literally heard that heavy something detach itself from said vehicle.  Afterwards, within 30 minutes of hearing the obvious scrapping thunk, we heard at least three other vehicles hit that heavy something.  Not good.  We didn’t like the sound of it as it sounded dangerous, so hubby and I went to check it out.  Turns out the driver lost their bumper.  Walking in the dark with my phone in hand for the flashlight, we found a twisted, mangled heap of a bumper that could have very easily caused serious damage to any vehicle unable to avoid it.  I moved this mangled bumper into a ditch off the road so others wouldn’t accidently hit it.  I don’t even want to imagine the damage it would have caused otherwise.  While we don’t know what kind of vehicle dropped the bumper, we’re estimating it wasn’t in good condition to begin with. 

During our last couple days in Punta Gorda, we met a couple of people performing a search and rescue for a lost cellphone.  What happened was the lady who lost her cellphone had accidently left it on the roof of her car while she was driving.  She was making a turn off one road onto another, unfortunately causing the cellphone to slide off into the middle of the opposing lane.  More unfortunate is she had the type of cellphone which has a compartment on the back where she kept her credit cards, bank card, and her driver’s license.  These items were later recovered by a passerby walking her dog and discovered the cards laying in the grass.  With the help of Facebook, she was able to return them to their owner.  The cellphone on the other hand wasn’t recovered; not until much later.  We were all estimating that another passerby found the cellphone, tossed the cards aside and went about their own way.  Thankfully, this was not the case.  It was the next day, as we were leaving out, stopping in at the Walmart located just across the street from the Pilot truck stop, the guy we had met and tried to help in finding the lost cellphone, recognized our camper and stopped to give us the update.  Thankfully, the cellphone was also recovered after unfortunately being run over and therefore cracked and broken by another vehicle, which is why the cards were found strewn about as they were in the grass and turned in at the local Wawa.  Though the phone was now broken, we were glad to hear it was recovered and returned as the owner was more upset, not about the loss of her phone, but about the photos she had in her phone.  Luckily, she should be able to take her broken cellphone to her service provider and the representative should be able to recover all her photos.  A happier ending than what could have been. 

So, that’s Punta Gorda, Florida.  I’m sure there is way more to the town than we witnessed and experienced, but when funds are limited, you make your own of it.  We’re still thankful for all that we were able to experience.  Helping others is what we enjoy doing and we did that as much as we could.

Until next time, thank you y’all for reading and thank you even more for following my blog.  In the meantime, we’re moving on, on down the road, and into the next town of our choice… Fort Myers, Florida!

The clouds were really fluffy looking.
One of the many unique recreational vehicles we’ve seen since traveling.

Home Sweet Motorhome

Hey y’all!  So, the last time I posted, it was a piece my husband wrote about scammers on Facebook Marketplace falsely advertising top-notch motorhomes and RV’s for ridiculously low pricing. 

Today, I’m writing because we finally made it happen.  Yes, we bought our motorhome!

This week has been so anxiety driven and action packed, I’m simply glad we were able to accomplish the enormous task. 

Hubby and I have been scouring Facebook Marketplace for what feels like months.  I swear to y’all, I was checking the site 5, 6, 7 times a day just to see if anything new had been added, and I was rechecking motorhomes and RV’s which we’d already read over deciding not to inquire.  Well, last week, hubby found this one, a 24ft with 2 sleeping areas. 

So, through the weekend I enquired with the seller, first making sure it was still available, exchanging numbers for better communication, and finally, arranging it so that we had a ride to go and look at the motorhome. 

On Monday, my dad and his wife agreed to take my husband, daughter, and myself to go and look at it; just under an hour to get there, and the same to get back.  The motorhome looked just as it did in its pictures, the interior is needing some work, but no more than we can handle, and my husband started it up.  It cranked over like a beast on the first try. 

On Tuesday, the guy selling it was nice enough to help us out a little further, and personally drove the motorhome to us though Hurricane Ida was making her way through.  I was browning some ground beef to make chili when I happened to look out our kitchen windows and saw our motorhome drive by on the next road over from ours. 

The only detail I don’t like about the motorhome interior is its carpet.  I hate carpet.  I hate carpet.  Did I mention, I hate carpet?

On Wednesday, after I finished with my scheduled classes for the morning, my husband and I tackled face first into the next project… ripping the carpet out.  We spent that afternoon and Thursday afternoon ripping carpet out and removing the trash accumulated and left behind by previous owners. 

Sorry, it’s not the best, clearest photo of the carpet before I tore it up, but you get the idea that it had to go.

On Friday, I admit I didn’t do anything with our motorhome.  Instead, I taught 3 scheduled classes, took a nice long nap, and then proceeded to do very little through the rest of the day.  Everyone needs a day off from working and I was more than exhausted. 

Same general area as previous photo, but after I ripped the carpeting out. We’re going to put down water resistant wood laminate.

I’m hopeful that next week we’ll be able to get it properly tagged and titled as well as install new flooring in it.  Once the new flooring is in, I can properly scrub everything inside, from top to bottom, then proceed with the details of minimizing our belongings.  We’re not hoarders, but we do have a lot of things, most of it being in the media department.

I said we had a lot of books.

So, everything has been a process, but we’re getting there… one day at a time.  I know it’ll all be worth it once we’re moved in and settled. 

As always, thanks for reading y’all!

Troy Talks: Health Watch 1

My wife and I have been perusing the motorhomes available in our area on Facebook Marketplace. We wish to take our only child around this vast, panoramic country to provide her with some on-the-spot experiences before she has to take on the world by herself. We all know there are scam artists in this world, people who feel the only way for them to accomplish their own dreams is to step on someone else. Several of these people, for there are many out there, choose to prey on the unwary buyer on Facebook Marketplace.

Finding a 1995 Dolphin Motorhome for sale for two thousand dollars is not necessarily a scam. When it is in the condition of this one, it probably is.

After contacting the email, my wife talked with the woman selling it, a lady in the military, who said that she was away from home for medical, military training purposes. She told my wife over the phone (via email) that her son had died at eighteen in a bike accident, and she was selling the motorhome for two thousand dollars due to the sad feelings she felt toward the passing of her son. We only had to purchase four BestBuy cards and load each with five hundred dollars. Then, eBay would step in, protecting both the buyer and seller from fraud. The seller would then ship us the motorhome, which was in storage in California due to her being away for training. After the motorhome was delivered, eBay would release the money to her.

As my wife and I have been searching for the perfect motorhome for our family for a long time, we did not see the scam. I am sorry to say that we almost believed the woman’s sad story about her son. We didn’t have any knowledge of people scamming others in this fashion and it wasn’t until we went to purchase the BestBuy cards that a clerk mentioned it might be a scam. This got me thinking about the old adage- If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

When we got home, my wife and I, each with our own laptops, dug into the information we already had, as well as look up the relationship with BestBuy cards and eBay, which the woman selling the motorhome assured us was involved. She even gave us a phone number to contact eBay. When I talked with the guy on the phone, who spoke with a thick accent, he assured me it was legal and the safest way to protect both the seller and the buyer. Yet, when I looked up the association of BestBuy cards to eBay, the number to eBay was different from the number the seller gave me, and eBay told me they didn’t have anything to do with purchasing vehicles on Facebook Marketplace through BestBuy cards.

Though my wife and I didn’t actually get taken for two thousand dollars this time, due to a friendly warning and some quick thinking on our part, there are many out there who do fall for this type of scam. Beware of something that might be too good to be true.

Another example of this scam, to provide a sense of comparison, is this 2003 Fleetwood Tioga. As you can see from the picture, it is far too nice to be sold for two thousand dollars.

Seller’s Description- I don’t answer at chat, please contact me by email: (emailaddress@gmail. com) 2003 Fleetwood Tioga 23E- Price $2000. The price is $2000. I always kept it in garage, no rust, no dents, original paint, no accidents and clean title without any liens or encumbrances. Excellent condition. It is non-smoker, non-pets in this car. It was just serviced 3 days ago, new tires, tags up to date, etc.

You can also see the message is eerily similar to the first. If you were to contact them, they would probably tell you a sad story about one of their family members passing away, which is why they are now selling such a magnificent camper for such a low price.

There is no way, unless this person is the kindest person in the world, that this class C camper is for sale for two thousand dollars. The first warning to these scams is the email address. It clearly states that you are not supposed to use email addresses, telephone numbers, or personal information. The second, when and if you do contact the seller, is the seller does not ‘answer to chat’. A third, which sometimes shows up at the bottom of the description, is this statement. “This seller has turned on vacation mode and is currently not accepting orders or receiving messages.” Remember to check out everything. Too many people fall for these simple scams and the world is not better for it. Be wary and be wise. Stay safe.

Covid-19: Too Close To Home

Hey y’all. I said I would post again soon, but I did not anticipate posting quite this soon and so specifically on this topic. I’ve often written, sharing how we’re all faring while in quarantine. We’re doing this, we’re doing that, I’m rearranging, reorganizing; you’ve read it yourself. We’re doing everything we can to avoid contact. So far, so good.

While relaxing and watching television last night, I received a text from my bonus mom. She’s my ‘bonus mom’ because she was first, my friend, and with many passing years, she has become a strong mother figure in my life; kind of a role model to me. She’s always there when I need mothering advice. A simple text message away.

She was asking how we’re all doing. We haven’t seen her since Christmas Day when she did a drive by to pick up her Christmas Dinner from us. She stayed in her car while we; my husband, daughter, and myself, wore masks and put her dinner in the passenger’s seat and floorboard of her car. The process took all of 5-minutes at most. That’s the good news, that we’re doing fine. In her text message following, she was grateful to hear this. Then she told me, ‘I have Covid’. What? Ouch. Mom… No…

She thought she had a sinus infection, so she went to her doctor. While seeing her doctor, they tested her and she tested positive for the Covid virus. She has been so safe, but learning this makes every effort I have taken to keep my household safe, even if it meant angering select family members, worth the fight and sacrifice.

The holidays were not easy at the end of last year. Normally, we would have had my dad over for Thanksgiving dinner because my mom would have went to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my brother. Instead, we did Thanksgiving food delivery. My husband and I spent the morning and afternoon cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner, then we put together plates for everyone; my dad, my mom, and our friends and neighbors in our neighborhood. When we delivered each plate, we wore masks and glasses, and immediately sanitized after. We did the same system for Christmas dinner. We really didn’t want to do things the way we did, but we had to bend with the pandemic and simply figure out a different way to share. At a distance. I know we aren’t the only people who came to this same conclusion. For example, Dr. Emily Thomas from Dr. Pol, as in ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’. I follow Emily both on Twitter and through her and her husband’s blog. They concluded as well, it was and still is just too risky to spend the holidays with extended family members. Their kids were upset, select family members were upset, but they made their choice and stayed home where they are safe.

I’ll just be glad when it’s all over y’all. When vaccines have been administered to everyone, and we can all shake this Covid era, I will sleep so much better at night. Learning this from my mom last night, it kind of shook me, per say, on the inside. The good news is she is on the mend comfortably at home. If y’all would, add her to your praying thoughts for a good recovery. I’m praying for y’all as well.

In conclusion, as always, thanks y’all for reading. I’ll write again soon!

Surprise! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Greetings y’all! Since my last post, many things have happened. We found a kitten, I moved into the ‘cover design’ phase of publishing, and Thanksgiving came. It has been an interesting few weeks to say the least.

On Saturday, November 7th, my dad gave me a ride to Macon, to Kitty City Cat Rescue, so I could pick up ‘Maleficent’ and bring her home. The whole idea was to surprise my daughter with her very own kitten. She has had the name picked out for years, though not as long as my husband and I had the name ‘Merlyn’ picked out before we were finally able to establish a home where we could have her.

‘Maleficent’ is proving to be very energetic, with a feisty attitude, but she loves to play. She reminds us of ‘Merlyn’ when ‘Merlyn’ when her age.

The day I brought her home, we absolutely surprised our daughter. ‘Maleficent’ had spent the entire 45-minute car ride, from Macon to Thomaston, meowing, which is normal. Unfortunately, the long car ride mixed with my dad’s driving technique, gave ‘Maleficent’ a queasy stomach. Luckily, I decided to include the blanket you see in the photo, in her carrier, and she only got sick on it. Twice. The good news is she hasn’t gotten sick since.

Having ‘Maleficent’ around has been different. ‘Merlyn’ and ‘Carlee’ are 8 and 6-years old respectively, so it’s been quite some time since we had a kitten around. ‘Maleficent’ is feeling right at home though because she runs the halls with ‘Carlee’ at night and into the early morning, and she gets her roughhousing with ‘Merlyn’ during the day, when she isn’t sleeping. Her favorite early morning activity is to play in my bed, attacking different areas of my bedding, about half an hour before my alarm goes off for work. I admit, it was kind of annoying at first, but what do you do when it’s a kitten.

I mentioned earlier, my book has moved forward, and now I am in ‘cover design’ mode. As soon as my friend whose a retired hairdresser can trim my hair a little, I get to experience my own little homemade personal photoshoot. I’ve never had a personal photoshoot, unless you count glamour shots that sadly fell through due to cost. That’s a story for another time.

Now, Thanksgiving. That was a busy day. I took the day off, meaning I didn’t open any time slots for my student’s parents to book. Instead, I woke up at 4am to begin prepping and baking. A week before this, my husband and I created the menu we had been planning to cook for our family and friends.

As you can see, we offered several choices for Thanksgiving dinner.

Preparing everything was tiring, but fun and worth it. By the time my husband got up at 6am, both pumpkin pies were in the oven, and I was filling the deviled eggs. Afterward, I started in on mixing my no-bake cheesecakes together, then I took a break. All the prepping we did, it reminded me of my mornings when I worked as a prep cook for Applebee’s in Monroe, Georgia. My husband and I learned early on that we work better in the kitchen together than anyone else we know. There are some people who don’t understand how we work so well together.

Now, to say our Thanksgiving day went absolutely perfectly smooth, that would be a lie. We did reach a hiccup in the system plan. First, it rained all morning, off and on, from heavy downpour to light drizzles, back and forth. We might have gotten past the rain, but the hiccup that followed left us without further options. We hooked everything up correctly, the propane tank to the turkey deep fryer we purchased, but there was a hit/miss somewhere because we weren’t able to officially deep fry the turkey. It wasn’t raining when my husband hooked everything together. It wasn’t raining when we set it all up in the spot we designated specifically for it. It began raining as we were trying to ignite the purpose, and because it did, we had to shut it down. So, instead of deep fried turkey, we properly executed a last moment oven roasted turkey. It was delicious!

The hardest part was sending text messages to our family and friends; “Due to inclement weather, deep fried turkey is now oven roasted. We’re sorry for the switch.” I felt like Gordon Ramsey on “Uncharted” when he’s unable to deliver his original dish idea to his guests of their culture. I am so thankful everyone was understanding. Well, almost everyone.

I experienced an additional hiccup, but it was neither food nor Thanksgiving related. At least I don’t think it was, but I don’t honestly know. My husband and I decided to do Thanksgiving this way because, as I mentioned and we all already know, we all have to take caution against Covid-19. I spent Thanksgiving, planning, prepping, preparing, and cooking with so much care, love, devotion, and thanks. Every plate we made, everybody we fed, we did it because we are thankful to have each and everyone we included in our Thanksgiving feast, in our life.

Our delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Well y’all, I think that’s all for now. Christmas is right around the corner and with Christmas comes our Christmas menu. Yes, my husband and I are planning the same kind of theme for Christmas, but yes, a different menu. No turkey. We’re thinking about a spiral ham, prime rib, and colorful side dishes. Equally delicious.

Additionally, it’s not just Christmas we’re planning for, my husband and I were blessed to have a child born exactly 2 days after Christmas. This year, she turns 16, but because she’s a Descendant’s fan, it’s not ‘sweet sixteen’, she prefers her 16th birthday VK (villain kid) style; ‘sinister sixteenth’.

Thanks for reading y’all! I’ll post again soon!

A Little Bit of Everything

Good morning y’all.  I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I last posted, but things have been, for lack of a better word, slightly depressing.  Some changes have occurred where my family is concerned, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it.  To sum it up, my dad quit talking to me for reasons only he knows.  At first, I didn’t know how to deal with it, but then I had an epiphany.  If he doesn’t want to talk to me, that’s his choice, not mine.  He’ll come around in his own time.

So, moving on.

After more than a month, last week, I finally heard from my publication coordinator, via email, that my manuscript is ready for me to review the edits the editing department has proposed in my manuscript.  Since this past weekend was 4th of July weekend, I took that time away from work, and now, today, I’ll begin reviewing the edits in depth.  This should be fun.

In other news, about 5 years ago, I gave up my Facebook account.  Why?  It was the only way I could disassociate myself from select people I no longer wanted anything to do with.  It was the only way I could seek the solitude I needed to overcome the dramas and stresses of my own life.  While Facebook is a great way to keep in contact and communicate with select friends and family, I didn’t want any part of any of it.  Recently, I’ve been thinking that now might be the right time to regroup and restart.  I admit, part of me is fearful of Facebook because of the people I once knew.  Like the movie “Cyberbully” with actress Emily Osment, I couldn’t escape, but I wasn’t being bullied.  People just would not leave me alone.  However, with my book in publishing and ‘Moore’ Books Free Library slowly coming together, I think those two things are reason enough to restart a Facebook account, but rather than a personal account, I’m thinking more along the lines of ‘Public Figure’ account.  With coronavirus cases still on the rise, Facebook will be an avenue that I would not otherwise have for online book signings and other such events.  Actor and author, Chris Colfer did it, so why can’t I do similar?

The entirety of it will take time, but that’s okay because all of the best things in life take time.

On a totally different note, I gave gardening another shot.  My first time didn’t go so well.  While I tried my hand at growing green beans, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and a couple other vegetables, things were going good until I transferred them to bigger planters, then they all died.  This time, some friends and neighbors gave me a few a tomato plants, and I’m very pleased to say that I have 8 tomatoes producing so far.  They’re still green, but they are growing.  My ‘bae’ has to craft together some stakes to help my roma tomato plant stand more upright, but it’s doing well and that’s all I can ask for right now.  Roma hasn’t yet produced anything, but it’s early yet.  I do have a few pictures to post of my budding tomatoes, and I’ll post them soon, but I have to first transfer the pictures from my phone to my computer.  Then I’ll be able to share them with you.  If things continue to grow as well as they are, this time next year, I’m going to try for a raised personal garden.  Time will tell.

Finally, the Georgia heat has really kicked in full swing since summer officially began.  The humidity is practically through the roof, making it harder for my ‘bae’ to breathe when outside what with his heart condition.  Heck, I’m perfectly healthy and the humidity is even getting to me.  The only time I’m really going outside is to feed and water my plants, or to take out the garbage.  It’s so hot out, we don’t even feel like grilling.

So, that pretty much sums up the essence of my life currently.  A little of this, a little of that, but not much of anything else.  I’m doing what I can, and practicing patience by working on the inside.  More or less cleaning, rearranging, and reorganizing.

Well y’all, I guess that’s it for this post.  As always, thank you all for reading and following my blog.  By the way, is there anything y’all would like me to write about?  I’m always open to suggestions; something new to talk about.

Until next time!