Saturday, December 31, 2011



As I look back on 2011, I am so thankful that I will be able to finally follow my dream.  I also want to thank everyone who has helped and encouraged me to pursue this lifestyle.

I also want to wish you all a very Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year to you and yours.


Susan and Angel     

Friday, December 30, 2011

More Time With Ted and Nearly There



Well, one more work week gone and one to go and my mom doesn’t have to leave me.

Ted had part of Monday off, I had to work(regular salary + time and a half), I put in to get the time off if we weren’t busy and was able to leave by 9am.  I called Ted to find out where he was and caught him before he left town and met for a late breakfast.  The rest of the time before he had to leave in installed some new headlamps and fog lamps on my truck that he gave me for Christmas.  He had to leave by one, to get back to SF by 3pm to work.

It was back to work on Tuesday and for as slow as it was on Monday, it was extremely busy and it didn’t stop,  Wednesday and Thursday were just as busy.  I sure won’t miss this job.  It is a good job, but I ‘m ready to get on with the next change in my life, on to a better lifestyle and slower pace.


                                     This is my motivator at work.

The time is here to worry or just give it up.  I will probably go with the latter, it doesn’t do any good to worry.  It will be whatever it will be.  I am still working on what I will do.  So far the plan is to stay where I am until the end of January and take that time to pull everything together and then head South.

My plan is to take my time and take CA99 South to Bakersfield and then East to CA395 and South to I10.  I plan on stopping in Desert Hot Springs and then in Quartzite before going onto Phoenix where two of my daughters live.  I will be there for a while before continuing on to Texas for my first Workamping gig on April 1st.  I am hoping to do this as cheaply as possible and will open for any suggestions.  Since this is the first time that I will be doing this by myself, I think that I will do approximately 200 miles a day.  I would rather not have to unhook and pay for a CG site.  I have been keeping track on how long I have before I have to dump my tanks, one week for grey, several weeks for black.  I will  carry only enough water for basic needs.  I have access to my bed and bathroom and the refrigerator with all the slides pulled in.  It would be nice to have several options each day so that I can stop when I am too tired to go on.  It would be nice too if there is somewhere that I can take Angel for a walk,

A couple more ducks are in place after today.  I will be using Escapees as my mail forwarder, so had to get the form notarized mailed today.  We’re back at home  and it’s time for bed.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and safe weekend.

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to everyone. 


I am spending it with my son Ted and friends from church.  We went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service after having a great Dinner with Karen, Steve, Kyle and their son Spearman.


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                                         Just some of what we ordered.

In the morning, even though, we couldn’t be together, I was able to share some of the “going ons” of my daughters and their families via telephone and texted pictures

Then today after Christmas Day Service we had brunch at Steve and Kyle’s where we opened presents and will be going back for dinner.  It seems that we eat all day.  We finished the day with dinner of a salad, a beef roast with mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash and cheesecake.    Just a wonderful day spent with family and friends.

I hope that you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

From me and mine to you and yours,,,MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!



Susan and Angel

Friday, December 23, 2011

Solar Installed, Gave Notice, Countdown


The solar installation is complete.  Tuesday I went into work for a couple of hours and then went home after it got light enough to see what I was doing, so that I could move “My Spot” over to Folsom Lake RV (FLRV) to get the rest of the stuff done,  Harry the service manager got George right on it.  The Inverter came in on Monday, so that got installed in the front compartment near the two new batteries.  There is still room for a portable generator, but that will have to be strapped in so a not to be able to interfere with the inverter.  He also finished whatever he had to do in the control panel.  I can now see the percentage of all the tanks rather that the lights that I couldn’t figure out. 

             DSC00699     DSC00700

           Harry  next to the new control panel        George installing the inverter

              DSC00703  DSC00711

I was going to go back to work for a few hours, but that wouldn’t be possible because I didn’t have any place to leave Angel, (I couldn’t leave her in the truck).  Instead I went over to the Social Security office to see what I have to do to sign up for  Part B.  She gave me the forms that I had to get my employer to fill out.  I then took a run out to IKEA to check out their Chair/Bed and how much it would weigh.  I also shopped in the Swedish Food section to stock up on some things that I usually get there.  On the way back I stopped off at the HR Department at my work to get the papers filled out, but had to make an appointment.  Then it was back to FLRV to see how they were progressing.


I made it home just before dark.  There was this magnificent sunset, unfortunately no picture.  With help from some neighbors as spotters, I got the rig in place, avoiding the tree, water tank and another parked RV.  It was already dark while I did the hookups.  I had a problem getting the water hooked up, even though I had a “quick connect” connection.  I just gave up and put some water in the tank so that I would have water in the morning and just use the pump.  Then went inside and put most everything away.  No fireplace and the tuner for the TV wouldn’t come on.  I was too tired to figure it out, so it was off to bed.  Three o’clock comes awfully early.  I would just deal with it when I got back home from work.    I just will have to get used to all the little “hiccups” and deal with them one at a time.  Such is life of a full-timer.

The other thing that I did on Tuesday was to give my notice at work.  I will retire on , drum roll please     January 5, 2012.  with the holidays, that’s only 7 days that I have to work.  It sure is a bit scary, reducing my income by so much.  So now the count is on.  I will probably pay my park rent for January and take that time to corral the rest of the ducks.

Thanks for visiting


Angel patiently waiting for her house to be finished.

Susan and Angel

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Still Busy, News!


I finally put up my tree.  The rest is going up in stages, since I still have to take the rig to the dealer for more work.  The tree is easy as I just wrap it up in the chair cover and put it on the sofa when I pull in the slide.

Friday was spent doing some Christmas shopping.  I did girls’ and grandkids while I was in AZ.  Only Ted was left.  No, Ted, I’m not reporting here what I got for you.  It’s hard enough keeping secrets from you.   I know that my kids read my blog, but rarely comment. 

Saturday, more shopping.  I had to get the makings for “truffles” for a potluck at work.  It is a very easy recipe, just Oreos, crushed and mixed with cream cheese, rolled into small ball (they are very rich) and dipped in something, (cocoa, powdered sugar, sprinkles, chocolate or whatever you like).  I chose chocolate, white, red and green.  I then decorated them, easy but time consuming.  After forming them I put them into the freezer to make them easier to handle them while dipping.


While out I spotted a group doing a Car Wash as a fund raiser for Teen Challenge.  I have been planning  to do it myself, but kept putting off and then it got too cold for me.  I did a U turn and got in line for them do it for a donation.

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          With everyone working, it took all of 10/15 minutes. They did a great job.

Sunday, after church I went over to FLRV,where they had a major event,  lunch for their customers and they were giving away a brand new Springdale TT, along with other door prizes. 

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It was fun and I met a few wannabes, Several were also planning on doing it solo.  Unfortunately,  I didn’t win anything.

After returning home, I just caught up on reading the adventures of fellow bloggers and dipping the candy in the above picture.  They are peppermint truffles.  I still have to dip the peanut butter truffles.


                            picture from the Garner State Park website

And now the News!  Yesterday I got an email from Rick at Garner State Park in the Texas Hill Country with an offer to work/volunteer in their visitor center, my choice as a start date.  So it looks like I will be spending the summer in Texas.  It is not too far from where my sister lives and my daughter and grandkids are a little farther, so the plans are to spend some time with them too.  I don’t have any details yet, so those will come later.

I think that when I go back to work I will give them January 5th 2012 as my retirement date.  Wow, just putting down an actual date is really scary.  I could stay until the end of the month for the money, but then I wouldn’t have time to herd those ducks.  There is so much last minute stuff to be done, mail forwarding, change my domicile state, get the Medicare and supplemental insurance started, just to list a few.  I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get it all done.

Enough rambling,  Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Busy, Busy, Busy!


                          Wow, How time flies when you’re having fun!


               That’s how Angel has fun, watching and putting up with me!

Work wasn’t too bad this past week, decorating our team area for Christmas and the World Class CSR Luncheon.  This year our area is a Christmas Forest.  I would make all those trees in between calls.

    DSC00687   DSC00688

        I used many that I saved from last year, but made an additional 100+ this year. 

Close to 90% of our CSRs are World Class, so they had a luncheon to celebrate. (actually several over 3 days to accommodate everyone)  We even had “entertainment”, our management staff “dancing as the stars”.  Very entertaining,  although you’d never get me to do it.

          DSC00673    DSC00665    DSC00671


Since I have been back from Phoenix,  I have been trying to get all my ducks in a row, lining up doctors’ appointments and trying to set up something for Workamping, continued getting rid of more stuff and getting solar installed on  “My Spot”.

I made a couple of appointments for annual follow up visits for past surgeries.  Wouldn’t you know it, both were on the same day as the new date for the solar install.  Earlier I had called a Texas State Park near where my sister lives about volunteering and was having some problems downloading an application.  Ted said that he can help with  that when he comes home.

Ted got here for Sunday and Monday.  Sunday we went to church and and afterwards we loaded the armoires out of storage and into his truck and then delivered them, one to Gypsy and one to church.  With that done we went home and prepared the rig for the move to the dealer in the morning. 

As you all know the solar install was postponed.  I finally took it to the dealer (Folsom Lake RV) last Monday.  We had it at the dealer by 6:30am and then went out for breakfast and was back  at the dealer by 7:30am.  Harry was there with his helper by then and had moved it back to their shop and had brought my truck out front. 

It was a very busy day.  From there we went back to my storage unit and loaded the heat press and the extra product to take to James, who does the same type of business that I had planned on doing, but on a large scale. There were only a couple of other things in storage that would fit in the shed at my site,   FINALLY!   The storage shed is empty, no more $$ going out as a lost cause.  With that done I kept  both doctors’ appointments and the headed back to FLRV to see how they were doing with the install. 

The W/D had been installed as well as the TV antenna.  (In answer to Barbara’s question, the name of it is Wineguard Roadstar    

                                              Winegard RoadStar Omnidirectional Antenna                                                        

The solar panels are installed along with two more batteries, but there was a problem with the inverter.  It was bad and they had to send for another.  Needless to say, I will still have to return another day.  It’s a good thing that I am not in a hurry or I might be a bit frustrated.

Another work week gone, even 3 days is too long, but it just gets me closer to retirement.  It’s weird, the closer that it gets, the more scared I become.  It will be such a big change.  As much as I want this, doing it alone is tuff.  Barbara, Judy and all the other single ladies, did you all go through these same thoughts and feelings?  and how did you handle it?

I guess that brings me up to today, Thursday.  I left a couple of hours early to start the prep for another move back to FLRV.  The inverter came in.  Another hic-up!  They sent the wrong one!  This time I got Harry’s call before I got everything done.  No extra practice today.  The are trying to get the correct inverter shipped overnight from Portland Oregon.  

I’ve been busy, but just couldn’t get myself to write,so, waited to post this so that I could add pictures.  I’ll get caught up regarding status on the “ducks” and reporting some news.

For now, thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel     

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Solar Install Postponed


One more work week gone, one week closer to fulltiming.  The count down begins!  I’m not sure of the exact date, but I think that it will be in January sometime.  I will have those loose ends to tie up.

Thursday, after work, I dumped the tanks and got everything inside put away for clearing for the slides to come in for moving.   I would be taking “My Spot” in to the dealer to install solar on the roof and also a W/D by 7:00 in the morning.

Friday, I was up early as usual to finish up the last minute things inside and then I started on the outside.  This would be the first time that I would be doing everything by myself.  Well physically by myself.  Ted was in my ear.  I called him just to make sure that I didn’t forget anything and did it all in the right order.    All that I had left to do was plug it into the truck and check my lights etc.  Then I get a call from Harry at Folsom Lake RV to let me know that some of the parts didn’t come in, so they couldn’t do the install.  Evidently he had left a couple of messages on my phone to call him, but my phone was on vibrate and I didn’t get them.  I could have brought it in to install the W/D, but decided  to wait and have it all done on the same day.  Of course he was apologetic and will get the parts where ever he can, even if they cost more, still at the same quote.  I told Harry that it’s not like I have to have it right away,so that I will have time to learn how to live with solar and if anything has to be adjusted I will still be around to adjust or fix as needed.  He made some calls and the parts will be in, half on Wednesday and the other half on Thursday.  The new install date is the 12th.  I also have an appointment with the orthopedic doctor that afternoon and a Christmas party in the evening.  The install will take a full workday, so it will be a very busy day.

Anyway, after I got the call, I just reversed the process and put the jacks down and re-leveled the rig.  Some people would get frustrated with the postponement, but I look at it as practice.  Now I know that I can do it by myself.  The confidence just got a little bit stronger.

Later I went out to do a bit of shopping and stopped by FLRV to talk to Harry.  I had some problems getting the rig ready, one was unhooking the water.  I just unhooked it from the faucet and rolled it into the compartment where the hookups are.  I think I figured out how to make that easier.  I just got a quick connect “thingy” from Home Depot.  The other thing that I have a problem with is cranking the TV antenna down because of where it is located and I have a problem with my shoulder, so I had Harry order another type of antenna that doesn’t need to go up or down. 

Saturday, I didn’t do too much, didn’t even go outside.  I steam mopped the floors, gathered up all the laundry (I still haven’t done it) and started to catch up on reading all the blogs that I follow.

Sunday, after church, I did the same and later went back to church for the evening Advent Service.  That’s about how my weekend went.  I hope that you all are having a great weekend.

Thanks for visiting


Susan and Angel

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Visit Continued


It was so nice to visit with everyone on Thanksgiving Day.  I spent time with the grandchildren that were there, especially the teenagers, the younger ones were outside playing.  The last time I saw Christopher, he was a little kid, now he is a grown young man working towards becoming a manager of a restaurant.  Svea Ails is seventeen and working on her  voice, wanting to be a singer.  She is quite good!

It was getting late and I had little sleep, so I called to make reservations at a Motel 6, where they are pet friendly, for both Sandi and myself.  I checked in and went to bed.  Sandi hit the stores with her sister and niece at midnight for Black Friday.  She got to the motel sometime after 2 am (I think).  We both slept in until around 7 or 8.  We were going to meet with Heidi and Mellissa  for lunch in Tempe at the Marketplace.  We had a great lunch and then did a bit of Christmas shopping.  DSC00645  That’s Svea Ails with the funny face.

Sandi is taking the picture.

On the way home we tried to take pictures of mountains and cactus.

       DSC00648         DSC00647             Sandi “kissing” a cactus                       and “hugging” one

        It’s been a long time since she even seen a saguaro cactus.

Saturday was breakfast at The Cracker Barrel with Mellissa and the kids before Mellissa had to go to work.  Afterwards we took the kids to Kmart to buy their Christmas presents.

I left to start back to Sacramento from there.  I decided to visit with Barbara and Katie of Me and My Dog  in Quartzsite.

IMG_0414           DSC00649

Angel’s new friend.                    Barbara and Katie in front of the Palms

We had a really nice visit.  It’s amazing how when we meet up with fellow bloggers we feel like we’ve been friends for a long time and just comfortable.  From there I made it to Palm Springs CA, where I stayed at the Red Roof Inn.  When I got up I sent an email to Rick of Rick and Paulette’s RV Travels to see if they would be open for a visit.  Unfortunately, they were one their way out to a fair.  Maybe we can meet when I go back south in a couple of months.  Since I knew that Russ and Donna of Travels in Therapy were staying at Sands RV Park too, so I swung by there just on the chance that they may be home.  Russ was there, so we had a short visit, Donna was still not feeling well, hopefully she is feeling better by  now.  Russ helped me figure out a way to go back to Sacramento without going through Los Angeles.


                                                  One more new friend.

That’s the way I went, west on Dillon out of the Park to 62, to 247, to 18, to 395 then north to 58 and then west to 99 and finally north to Sacramento.  It was a bit longer, but definitely  a  lot easier than LA.  I also took a short detour to check out the Orange Grove RV Park just east of Bakersfield.

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                           On the way to 62 I traveled thru  windmill farm.

It is interesting driving through the desert, the gratified rocks, long distances with nothing ,but no passing zones, mountain passes and Joshua Trees.  It wasn’t too bad until after Bakersfield when the sun started to go down and then there was more FOG all the way back to Sacramento and then avoiding several accidents, it took a bit longer to get back home.

Home by 8:30 and then to bed.  Late to be, early to rise.  Yuck!   Fortunately it won’t be for much longer.  I have some things that I have to get scheduled and switched around before I can set a date to be out of here and going south.  Time is just flying by.

Thanks for hanging in there through this long post about my trip to Phoenix.


                         Angel just didn’t want to get out of bed at the motel.

Susan and Angel

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Visit to Phoenix



Where do I start?  I decided at the last minute that I would use some time off at work to go to Phoenix AZ for Thanksgiving,  After a meeting with someone in Human Resources to get information on my Retirement Package.  Bottom Line!  I can retire anytime after January 1, 2012 and get all of the earned incentive bonus, plus 40 hours of vacation pay and accrued vacation.  Now all I have to do is figure out what it will cost for insurance and other budget items.  I will also need to get some definite Workamping commitments for Summer 2012 and Winter 2012/2013.  I’ve got a couple of applications out there, but haven’t any answers yet. Before I can set an actual date, I will have to get all of my appointments made, doctors’, dentist, Social Security, etc..  Everything has to be in place first.

While in Phoenix, I was able to meet with the person that hires and check out the resort and the Workampers area.  It’s a nice place and close to where one of my daughters lives.  They won’t make any offers until after May for the Winter season.

                           DSC00619    4:30 am

Back to Tuesday, one of my neighbors, John helped me get the containers out of storage and loaded into the back of the truck,  It was a puzzle, packing around the fifth wheel hitch and then covering it with a tarp and strapping it all down.  Wednesday morning,  I left Rancho Cordova at 4:30 am.  I drove straight through, stopping for fuel and rest areas to let Angel out and check on the tarp coming loose,  My first stop for #2 diesel was in Bakersfield where I also went to Target to get a net to cover the tarp, it worked fairly well.

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From Bakersfield I took 58 East to avoid the Grapevine and check out the steepness of the grades going over the mountains.  It was so much easier and a prettier drive, although it was a longer route to take and not as much traffic, although there was an accident on the westbound (a truck and travel trailer that jack-knifed) where it backed up traffic for a few miles, glad I was going Eastbound.  From 58 I took I 15 North to connect with I 40 East and then I took US 95 South to I 10 and then East to the 303 North to El Mirage where my daughter Mellissa lives with three kids and three dogs.  I got there at 8 pm, Boy was I tired!  As tired as I was I didn’t get more than a couple hours(?) sleep. 

Thanksgiving Day!


                                   Angel is such a good traveler.

In the morning we all (Mellissa, Elyzabeth, Robert, Katie and Me) went out for breakfast (not her dogs), Angel stayed in her crate in the car, poor baby!  From there we went to a Women’s Shelter to serve them their Thanksgiving Dinner,  The company that she works for (Waste Management) volunteers each year, not only to serve dinner, but also for other activities or the women and the kids, bowling, arts and crafts, football, basket ball etc.. My granddaughter and I took the arts ad crafts.  I think that the mothers and kid had fun and created some things to take back up to their rooms.  No pictures were allowed to protect identities.

From there we went out to Queen Creek where my oldest daughter, Heidi lives with her husband, Chris and daughter, Svea Ailis.  (They are currently living with his parents to save $$ to relocate to the Dallas/Fort Worth area next Spring).  That’s where we had our Thanksgiving Dinner, at her in-laws.  Janelle certainly set out a great spread.   Most of their family was there too. 


                                               combined families



                               me          Heidi        Sandi       Mellissa


                                                me              Sandi

Then out of the blue my #2 daughter, Sandi comes to the door.  She lives in Texas and decided that morning to fly in and surprise us.  A VERY BIG SURPRISE!!!  It has been over 10 years since I’ve seen her and more than that since we have all been together at the same time.  The only one missing was my son Ted, Nick and Sandi’s two children, Mary and Charlie.  We had a great visit with everyone there and then Sandi and I shared a motel room.         

More on my visit in my next post.

In the mean time I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday as I did. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for, friends and family are right there at the top of the list along with my fur kid Angel.


Thanks for visiting

Susan and Angel