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!

Thinking, Writing, and Reflecting About Chicken Soup for the Soul

Hey y’all!

I am a writer and because I am a writer, I think a lot.  A Lot.  I think about my past and I think about my future and all the things I want to do.  Most of it has to wait until after my daughter graduates from high school which will be in another three years, but at the same time, I can do many of the things I want to do now, in the present time, because I’ve been blessed with the ability to work from home, as an English teacher.

One of the things I want to do is publish.  I want this about as much as I’ve wanted everything else I’ve been blessed with in my life because I love writing so much.  I love sketching to, but writing allows me to bare a piece of my soul that I can’t do in creating artwork.  Yes, I know writing is just another form of artwork, but writing is also different from sketching.  In writing, I can talk about the many obstacles I’ve overcome and what I learned from those obstacles.  When I sketch, I create pictures that make me happy.  Writing also makes me happy, but differently than sketching does.

Someday, I want to see my written short stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul because Chicken Soup for the Soul is the most widely known nonfiction short story compilations book around the world.  I began reading them when I was just 14 years old.  I recommend then to anyone I know and everyone I meet.  I recommended Chicken Soup for the Girls Soul to my daughter’s best friend in gymnastics.  She’s a couple years younger than my daughter, but she loves to read, according to her grandparents.  Not only did I lend them my copy, but after reading the book and returning it to me, her grandmother went out and bought herself a copy of a more recent title, Chicken Soup for the Grandparents Soul.  I don’t know how often this happens to other people, but it was a first for me.

I’ve been writing and submitting short stories to them for the last two years and one thing I can say for sure is my ability to write is improving.  When I first started trying, yes, I wrote crap.  Boring and unacceptable for publication; and obviously not what they were looking for.  Now, two years later, reading my own work chokes me up, but maybe I’m just partial to my own work.  Rather than being my own worst critic, I’m over complimentary to myself.  I used to have my husband simply proofread my material, then I click the submit button and off it went to their inbox.  Now, I’ve improved the writing process, asking him to critique my material, not once, but twice.  The first critique is always for direction.  The second critique is to fix anything which doesn’t sound right, or doesn’t fit.  If and when he gives me an all-clear, I then ask him to proofread it for me to clear my grammatical mistakes.

I know publishing is a hit and miss no matter who you’re trying to publish with.  When it comes to Chicken Soup for the Soul, my single short story entry is only 1 in about 5000.  As of current, the only time I’ve ever received a personal message from Amy Newmark herself, it was to ask for my mailing address to mail me a couple signed books, per winning a book drawing.  It was an incredible experience, but nothing like I imagine it’s going to be when the day comes I receive an email, that my short story has been chosen for publication in a future title.

So far, I’ve submitted a short story to each of these future titles; ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’, ‘Listen to Your Dreams’, ‘Stories About Christmas’, ‘Stories About Self-Care and Me Time’, and ‘You Go, Girl’.  The short story I wrote for ‘You Go, Girl’ is, in my opinion, my personal best.

In closing, I write to clear my head of the most concentrated thought swirling inside.  Chicken Soup for the Soul is my most favorite book series.  I can’t deny that and I won’t deny it.  I know my day will come, and when it does, I’ll laugh, I’ll cry, and I’ll jump up and down like a crazy high school girl finding out that the boy she likes, likes her back.  I’ll probably run to my neighbors and share with them this most exciting news of my life, but I am not going to deny myself the emotion of finally accomplishing what I’ve been working so hard to do since I began my writing journey.  I’ll tell you what else I’m not going to do, when sharing my news with my parents, who don’t completely understand the lengthy time and amount of patience writing a single story can take, regardless of story length, nor the hit and miss of publicating, I am not going to allow their happy-so-so attitude to clash with my over-the-moon-top-of-the-world-basking-in-personal-accomplished-glory attitude.  After all, this isn’t about them, this is about me.  They will be happy for me, supportive, and accepting, and that’s all I really can ask for.

Thank you for reading y’all!

 

Moving Out, Moving Forward, Moving Up, and Moving On

Greetings and good morning y’all!  It has certainly been some time since my last post, but like all things in life, there has been a lot of things going on.

For instance, moving is never easy an easy task.  Packing, sorting, cleaning, loading, unloading, unpacking, and setting up.  It’s stressful, time consuming, hard work, expensive, and above all, physically draining.  After living under my parent’s roof for four years, seeing to and helping them around the house because they’re only getting older, they decided they’re ready to live on their own and don’t need my help as much.  I should have expected this, but I was busy, caught up in my own endeavors.  So, when they told me they were moving, that they found a place, nearly everything I was working on, screeched to an unexpected halt.  If it wasn’t for my amazing husband, I might have experienced emotional turmoil in epic proportions because there wasn’t any foresight, only a tight aftermath.

I’m not a religious person, but praying for guidance, strength, and some peace of mind is not beneath me.  I did this everyday until the day we moved into the trailer I now call my home.  A rustic two bedroom, single bathroom mobile home, settled in a quietly quaint mobile home park, managed by a couple, like ourselves.  I personally have several things in common with our landlady, not including her name reflecting that of my late great-grandmother.  As I mentioned, moving is expensive, and we used every penny to make it happen in record time.  We have a couple small debts to pay off, but nothing to lose precious sleep over.  Before finding this place, if it wasn’t for being genuinely exhausted every night, I would have lost sleep, caught between a rock and a hard place just trying to find a place to live.  However, when every thing else fell through, this place became the light at the end of the long, dark, questionable tunnel.  My prayers were answered.

It’s not quite been a week yet since we moved, but I was forced to take a week off from home-school and teaching.  I’ve missed my Chinese students, but my daughter rather enjoyed the full week away.  Unfortunately, now we’re facing Interim Assessments head on our first week back.  We’ll be spending this week and the weekend catching up on missed assignments and such, but she’s a trooper and with me for a mother/learning coach, there’s nothing she can’t successfully accomplish.  This morning, I taught my first class in our new place and it was awesome!  It truly feels great to be back in my online classroom.  I’ve missed my students with their smiling faces and energetic personalities.

We’re still settling in; down to a couple boxes left to unpack of bookshelf dust collectors, a pile of framed photos to hang, five full bookcases of books to reorganize, and a washer to replace a sensor in, but we’re happy.  My parents are happier as well, living as just the two of them- something they have been striving close to 30 years for.  They had to learn to live life separately before they could live life together.  Now they’re embracing their golden years, living their happily ever after.

As for us, hubby and I are also embracing our separate solitude.  Career oriented in our field of English literature and writing.  Creating our heart’s desire, stories and art with added educational attributes.  It’s our world.

The Saturday After

Good morning y’all!

I took Thanksgiving off.  I didn’t work (except for in the kitchen), I didn’t write, I didn’t read, I wasn’t on social media, and it was the perfect day.

Mom and dad invited some friends over to have Thanksgiving with us, our daughter made a new friendly acquaintance, I socialized while keeping up with the kitchen, and we all enjoyed ourselves (with the exception of the fracture currently in dad’s back between his shoulder blades).

My husband cooks the turkey every year while I’m in charge of cooking and baking the rest of it–the fried collard greens with little smokies, green bean casserole, savory herb stuffing, ranch-infused mashed potatoes, gravy I made from the turkey drippings, King’s Hawaiian rolls, canned yams, jellied cranberry sauce, homemade deep-dish pumpkin pie, and homemade sugar-free peach cobbler.

Normally, Thanksgiving leftovers take days to finish up, and there’s still a good chance you’ll throw something out.  Somehow I pulled off the opposite and made the perfect amount for everyone.  I made Thanksgiving lunch/dinner, eating around 2pm, then ate leftovers for dinner/snack that evening.  Yesterday we ate leftovers for lunch, and then again for dinner.  Now, the pumpkin pie is gone, the peach cobbler is gone, and I’ve gotta make more cobbler.  It was delicious!

Yesterday, my husband helped me bring up our Christmas decorations from the basement.  We decorated our office, doing a ‘Christmas Around the World’ theme this year.  My husband set his village up along a high shelf, I set my late-grandmother’s Native American Nativity scene up on a shelf below that, and on another side shelf, I placed my Nativity scene of Bethlehem, Egypt.  Christmas around the world.

I placed Santa under our tree, to portray him waiting patiently for Christmas, to make his yearly trip ‘around the world’, delivering the childish spirit of the holiday.

I spent the rest of the day decorating the rest of the house, putting the other tree up in the living room for my parents.  I hung the stockings for show, some garland for sparkle effect, and put the place mats out just because.

Now it’s Saturday.  This afternoon our Georgia ‘Bulldawgs’ play the Techies (Georgia Tech).  Our dawgs are aiming for another awesome year being 10-1!

I’m still waiting to hear back about the writing sample I submitted for review.  I think I did well on the assignment, but I’m not reviewing myself.  As long as they can see that I know what I’m doing, that I can tutor their way with their paperwork, and I will only improve with time and practice, then I have my case made.  I wasn’t thrilled with the sample assignment, but I’m glad for having done it because now I have the idea, and I think that’s the point.

At first I looked at the assignment like it was in a foreign language.  I think I read everything 10 times over before finally wrapping my mind around the system; I was trying too hard.  Once I relaxed and let myself fall into the assignment, comments, remarks, and direction came easier.  When I felt like I’d completed it properly and to the best of my current ability (as my APA/MLA formatting is a little out of practice) I sent it off for review.

Now I’ve taken a step further than I normally get.  All I can do now is wait patiently, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Thanks for reading with me and I’ll write again Monday!