Travel Planning, Planning Mom’s Move, and Christmas Planning

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Nice to have a bit of sunshine in our lives. After raining for several days, the clouds parted and the sun came through. It’s Friday and has been a busy week of working toward everyone’s agendas. At work and at home. Very little time for play or personal projects.

At work, the month end taxes have been paid as well as the quarter end taxes. I’m about half way through with the withholding returns. It seems to take forever, this process, but I’m slowing ticking the boxes through. We tried to add another state to the system and the system said “nah ah, not gonna”. Can’t pay taxes and file returns with “nah ah, not gonna” system information so that all has to be figured out with programmers before we can finish out the quarter, or even do reconciliation.

I was hoping it was Jesus, but it was just a double rainbow —“just a double rainbow” —I catch myself saying but in comparison to Jesus one can say that. Rainbows are special and so is a double one as it’s a sign of God’s promise, but Jesus himself parting the clouds would have been better —for believers anyway. this particular rainbow was so vivid. It’s the brightest most magical one I’ve seen and it was only part of one. It was a pleasure driving down the interstate toward it. To me it meant God saying, “I’m here, the rain is ending, I’m not going to flood the earth and it’s all going to be ok.”

We went out Wednesday night with Paul and Judy to eat with them and they brought a pile of leftover food from freezer and pantry, bless them. We bought their dinner in return. Their house closed Thursday, movers came supposedly and they are off to Florida now for their retirement home. Can I whine and whimper? It’s been fun having them around, good knowing friends are around the corner, people that care, someone you knew that would have your back when needed and for them the same. I’m thankful for friends that have understood my flooring situation with the dogs and my unwillingness to entertain with that going on. Both Judy and Lisa have still embraced me without judging (I hope) as we have mainly spent time at their houses. Now that we have new flooring, I will soon be able to pay the favor once Mom’s grocery boxes are gone from the living room, but Paul and Judy are gone! We will miss the annual ornament party too and our LRC games. I hear the invitations may still go out one day and they’ll see who shows up in Florida, lol. Maybe one day we’ll get a December vacation in FL. We could see Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken and then see Judy and Paul. But I don’t think they are close to each other. Complete opposite ends of the state. But we also want to go back to Maine for a vacation sometime so we’ll see. Lots of travel plans stuck in the back pocket, just waiting for “time” as always. Once we retire, we’ll have a bit more time. Our only limits then will be finances or health issues.

So we have spent some time planning our upcoming trip to East TN in December. The last I typed we just knew the dates and what we wanted to do but we have the timeline down so I can go ahead and book hotels. I’ve figured out one hotel and just have to pin down the other. I’m almost ready to get them booked.

We have had family conversations about Christmas. As of now, it appears that Cody and Katy will not be coming for Christmas because everyone will be coming there at River’s birthday in January. At this news I’ve requested that we at least be able to “do Christmas” together at their house. I was glad to have our little bundle of joy last year but I missed our special Christmas time still and I don’t want that to become habit. It’s important to me to have our “opening”. It doesn’t have to be on Christmas Day, as some have demanded in our family, but I’ll take what I can get.

So now conversations have to happen about what is happening as it is time to order gifts before we get so involved with Mom’s move and getting her settled. Will need to have time to ship things there or just order on Amazon and send there. I’m not sure what the answer is. They also don’t have much space and there is construction going on around their house with the addition of a new bedroom. So…we have to figure this out so we can get things started. We are flying to TX so won’t have a car load of gifts to take.

We’ve also asked for Christmas Wishes from them and also Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken, who also wanted ours. So we have things we will be ordering now, again, once I can get some time. Weekend is coming although it is shaping up to be quite busy. It seemed a clean slate but as the week has gone by we have added more and more to it. We are to take Fancy for a trim, Mom wants to eat breakfast out, George wants to go to yard sales while out. I’ll have to have a few hours to do laundry and prep for next week, a mini grocery run, need to get these hotels booked, some shopping done on line, and get this video done. The video is screaming at me. It longs to be finished. An hour a week doesn’t get it, lol! So I’ll be blogging a bit less to get some of this done. You all seem pretty busy too. I am sure people are reading as I get about a 100 hits a day but not all are serious blog readers!

So all that is going on around here is mainly this:

Gearing up for Mom’s move as George orders the moving van this weekend. PTO time is already put in and the time requested. They better NOT move the dates around at this point as we have already scheduled our lives and asked off for work and all.

Getting plans in place for Christmas, shopping starting.

Getting these hotels booked.

And me over here trying my best to get through the to do list so I can work on a video, most of my own personal to do’s taking a back seat to all the rest of the goings on. Tis that time of year. But I’m determined and I plan to find time to finish the video this weekend. Just a few more edits and tweaks – almost there. I just love the entire process of making/editing the videos. The hard part for me is just finding the time. It’s fun to finish one up and then pull in the next folder into the time line to see what we have and how to blend it together. I’m usually surprised as I forget things I’ve video’d. But I’m anxious to get more done as I keep them in my iPhone/iCloud til I’m finished but it still makes my phone slow at times. I’ll delete them once the video is made. They are already in folders but once I deleted them off my phone and they showed up black in the video. So I’m afraid to do that now in case there was a connection. But this is the time of year I get further behind in the videos. We have less time due to the holidays.

So the busiest time of the year is upon us. Do you feel things ramping up on your end? Or is it just us? We are just pushing early this year due to Mom’s Move falling at the time we would normally be out shopping so want to make sure we get it all in before we go in sane.

Better go and get on the road. My soul and my psyche needs more coffee. Ya’ll have a splendid weekend ahead. I’d love to hear your plans for the weekend. Anything special?

Two Trips Planned and My Nutritious Eating Strategy, and

The mornings have been foggy on the way to work. Tis that time of year. And are you ready for the mid-week update? lol.

Can you believe we have booked our Texas trip to go see Little Roo (and his Momma and Daddy of course). Flights are booked. We are still waiting to see if we can stay on the ranch. I hope we can since we are paying for flights and cars. If we have to pay hotel too it starts to get expensive and then we won’t get to out there as often. I think it was around $700 ish for us to both fly out both ways total. The car is going to be way more than that. But we can zip around where we want and need and be able to get to and from airport and ranch. Two hours from Dallas/Ft Worth. So not a cheap trip for not even a full week. But I just despise that 14 hour drive. We split it up but still. It’s the drive back that is the worst. I’m glad we are flying.

And much to my surprise we have scheduled ourselves for a trip to the mountains in East TN and West NC in December. We want to see Family in Maryville if they are home when we come through, and we want to go to Waynesville, NC and Asheville, NC. We have already turned in our PTO’s for the rest of the year and first of 2022 and they are approved. We have not booked hotels yet for East TN but we kinda know where we want to book. We will also be able to see family in East TN, we hope. As our dates our pinned in and penned in as well, lol – if they are busy that week we will have to visit an additional time as that is the week we have selected and are going. It’s also a Christmas shopping trip. We’ve not checked with anyone yet in East TN as this is a new trip that we brewed up – but these are busy crew so we’ll see. George and I will have fun whatever we do as we have a lot of places we want to go and few undiscovered yet as we like to explore. The fact that we have two trips in the works, excites my soul. Thank you, Lord!

Here’s a few things I took to work to help meet my goals. I have made a promise to myself for the next 55 days to have something green and have fruit. So this will help. I needed something a little more natural for my crunch/salt addiction thus the chic peas. While I had pretty much given up potato chips, I still allowed tortilla chips and veggie chips. During the 55 day challenge I’m attempting to cut back on that – unless we have a taco dinner. I’m pretty much eating whatever is fixed including cornbread for dinner but that is ok. Because for the most part I’m embracing the whole food approach – especially when eating on my own where there is more control. Since others are involved with dinner I just have to do the best I can. I’m not turning down corn bread. It’s in!

Mom said at the table she was taught to eat whatever was set in front of her that someone has cooked. However, I doubt she would follow her own advice if George set venison or lamb in front of her. lol. I just smiled and told her I had mixed feelings about her rule on that. If I don’t like something I’m not going to want to eat it. I shouldn’t have to. It’s my body and we GET TO DECIDE what to put in it. Who wants people to throw up if they are detested by something they don’t like? There is no point in feeling forced to eat anything. But there is no need to be ugly if you decide NOT to eat something-You don’t broadcast “yuk” through the household – you have to be discreet. Of course at our table George watches my plate like a hawk. He’s very sensitive to see if I eat it or not. I wish he wouldn’t do that. If I don’t eat something he will question me “was it not good?” or “Did you not like it?” or the one that makes me feel bad “I cook for you and you don’t eat it” and sometimes I have to explain myself when he says “WHY didn’t you like it?” and if he doesn’t like my answer he will give me a hard time about it. I get it that he doesn’t want to cook things people don’t eat so it’s ok from that standpoint if he’s trying to adjust. But aside from that, the last thing I need or want is a hard time over what I eat. I’m not five years old and I’m responsible for my own nutrition now. So I don’t want to be treated or made to feel like five.

All that said, I am trying to do better with the nutrition and I told him I was on this challenge and Mom too, at the risk of being sabotaged (not intentionally) so that they might be mindful of it but they are not on the challenge so I don’t want my eating better to “have to” rub off on them. And there are some things I’ve decided not to give up ever – pizza, burgers, hot dog, tacos, corn bread, and cheese. However, we are having them less and less often. Rare occasions.

Most of the week I’m eating better and making better choices and enjoying it. I’ve truly enjoyed the challenge. It’s only been a little bit of effort to try and hit the check marks.

So I had to give the Skinny Girl dressing away. It had something in it that was a sugar alternative that was not natural – aka artificial sweetener. I hadn’t realized it when I bought it. So I gave it to some one who gave me a yogurt flip to try – which was almost like a dessert – that key lime pie flip. It had 17g of sugar. Technically it was a dessert by definition of the sugar alone, but I tossed it off to being breakfast. But I can’t buy those at the store, that is for sure. Too much sugar. But I had Key Lime Pie for real that same night so that was the Dessert day I guess. I have a shower to go to this week and now I can only have two bites of a cup cake. Oh well. I’ve had my dessert already this week. I forgot about the shower.

When I was talking about being sabotaged. The plan actually suggested that you NOT tell people because if you mess up they give you a hard time of it, especially if they are not on a nutrition plan themselves. They want to rib you over it. “I thought you were on a challenge” ha ha ha and make you feel bad and point out your failures. One of my family members already did that – I think the night of the key lime pie. My answer was I’m not going for perfection, just improvement and I’ve allowed myself a dessert a week. Not that I really owe anyone an explanation. But the plan was right, it does make you feel bad. I thought it would be nice to tell people so they give you support, but honestly, I think they just like to test your will power and tempt you and give evil grins when you fall in the traps. lol. So yeah, maybe it’s best to just keep it to your self (and your blog buds, lol).

This works pretty good for a wrap. The taste is not perfect but it was fresh. That is my thing – trying to find a healthy wrap that is not like cardboard. This did the trick.

I count the BEA Mango as a fruit because of the fruit juices and vitamins it has in it. It’s enough to count! Love using my Southerland water container. I think it’s 25 oz or so. I pour from it to a clear plastic drink cup – the kind they use at wine parties. The cup or glass is important. It helps you drink more.

So the bagged salad is good to munch on all week along as you can make side salads or throw it on top of sandwich meat and make a wrap. I did put olive oil mayo on the wrap. I was ok with that for a little fat and flavor.

I also made a rice and bean salad with a bit of vinegar, honey, olive oil and spices. I have eaten from this the last two days as well. It’s been about two servings that would fit in the dish. Perfect for work!

And I’ve got to find more of this mineral water. I think it must have been at Aldi’s. Kroger and Publix doesn’t have it. It’s so good. Only slightly bubbly and not really many minerals to it but it has a taste I love and also am craving, believe it or not. It helps me get more water down. I only will allow about two of these a week b/c I mean the expense of having one every day is just a bit much. But I’d spring for a couple a week for my efforts.

I had more to blog about but it’s time for me to head to work. I’ll have to share more on Friday. But I am excited to get a few things done. I had an Rx problem to solve as there was a communication issue b/w doc office and pharmacy, so had to go pick up my BP meds Monday. George and I got the flights and car rentals done. I gave him some retirement figures for 401k George needed, ordered some Probiotics and B vitamins, and ordered a Christmas present already. I sought out Christmas wish lists from Cody and Katy. Also have to give some to my Aunt Martha for us that she asked about.

Need to find a bow for the bridal gift, call the police dept for that police report, try to figure out why my iPhone is slow slow and fix that, get mammograms scheduled for me and Mom, get a birthday card in the mail, and finish planning trips and book the hotels, then I can work on videos some. I’ll be working on them anyway for an hour in the morning.

But now it’s works turn to have a piece of me so I better get ready and down the road. What’s on your to do list today? Are you busier now that fall is here?

Sailing Channels I Watch on YouTube

Photo by Szelei Robert on

It has been so much fun, so relaxing, and at times I’ve been perched on the edge of my seat – watching these folks on YouTube as they adventure out into worlds beyond. I’ve watched them learn, I’ve watched in amazement how they become their own plumber, electrician, and yet fantastically manage to produce their own show from laptops atop the expansive mass of water often far away from civilization. They have provided us with beautiful moments from below the sea, horrifying clips of mountainous waves about to engulf, and beautiful sunsets and sharing their sundowners with us as we cheer them on with sips of wine from our sofa. They show clips of cooking at sea, fishing and filleting fish, and provisioning. They share their lives with us, the how to’s, the dare nots, the must do’s. They take us along in their dinghies to the shore lines, to the harbors they reach, to the towns and their charms or lack thereof. They take us to mountain tops amid glorious and sometimes very dangerous hikes, and they drone us over for aerial views. However, hard it is, they take us in to their living quarters and on their night watches, and try as they may to show us the beauty of the night stars and luminous essences of the deep. They share their fur babes with us – some have arrived – some have gone. We’ve shared their ups and downs in our hearts, their disappointments and excitements, their fear, and their adventures. We’ve swam with sharks, watched the whales and dolphins, we’ve watched their knots, their sails, their docking and departing, their wind charts, depth charts and awaited weather windows.

So let me introduce you to the Channels I watch on YouTube. I’ve screen shot their channel page to give you a glimpse at their channel. And will link to each as well if you decide to visit and/or subscribe.

Gone with the Wynns

This couple, Jason and Nicki, had been home and away from their boat during many months of Covid missing their window by about one flight. While their boat was safe (well for the most part) they still provided us with weekly videos of exploring with other sailors and they have helped so many people with their charity venues. They spent many months back in Tonga repairing their boat, but without parts they need have managed to get critical acceptance into New Zealand for repairs, otherwise would remain locked out of the country due to Covid. While their boat is in repair, they are currently touring New Zealand in an RV. I’ve been watching these for a long while. You will never be bored. They are inspiring, humorous, kind, generous, and very talented with their boat, their filming equipment, with their maintenance (although they will say they are not), and with their diving and adventures. I don’t really want to hurt anyone’s feelings if they read, but it’s pretty easy to say this is my favorite!

Link: Gone With the Wynns

Sam Holmes Sailing

Oh boy, I have watched him explode. I watched just a video of him sailing into Hawaii at the very beginning. Not even really sure he was trying to start a channel, but his views exploded. It’s been fun to watch him grow and learn to manage the videos and the channel. While he has some health challenges, you would never know it if he hadn’t told you. He is very good at figuring things out with his boat. Great at the maintenance. He shares with us what it is like on a smaller sailboat. He recently upgraded to a bigger one. I worry about him as a Mom would as I have one about his age. He is so young (I’m guessing around late 20’s -early 30’s but yet out there by himself.) He’s taking on the world. He loves to hang glide and hike when given the chance. He is a talented musician as well and often gives us some glimpses. He discusses and shares his challenges at sea. And this week he has even shared his location with us by giving us the link to a chart. I saved the link and followed him as he entered the coast of Ireland. I breathed a sigh of relief. I took a screen shot or two as I knew I’d be sharing this entry. Most won’t share with you their locale for security reasons, but it was nice of him to do. I prayed for his safety. I know it’s weird. I feel I know these folks so well and they have no idea who I am. I think Sam’s videos are more in real time than most. Looks like he is safely within protection of the latest upcoming storm. I’m looking forward to the upcoming videos from Ireland. I loved how the Predict Wind had a place for his log notes.

Link: Sam Holmes Sailing

Sailing Project Atticus

Oh wait! This one is my favorite too! They are all my favorite!

These two, Jordan and Desiree, have taken us on some mighty fine adventures and have some really fun videos. They have sailed through pirate infested waters and shared their moments of fear. They have met interesting people along the way, in particular I remember a little boy who showed them around a remote island they visited. They share their remote anchor spots which they seem to prefer over docking, much less expensive but they all enjoy amenities the docks have to give. They learned to free dive and Jordan is very talented with the maintenance projects. They recently upgraded to a bigger boat to start a family, and they have added a cute little furry friend, Oso, who I think is a poodle or poodle mix – not sure. They are currently in Maine and doing boat repairs to get the new boat sea cross worthy. Love seeing them each week as they do their upgrades and share scenes from their current location. Last week was about Lobster! My little info section does not give them justice. But they do a fabulous job of giving and sharing the ups and downs of sailing. Their personalities – I just love! I look forward to them every week.

Link: Project Atticus

Sailing Ruby Rose

Oh my gosh, somehow I think YouTube suggested this one and I have enjoyed it from the start. First of all I absolutely love the accents of Terysa and Nick. Second of all, I fell in love with their personalities. I began watching as they came back from a COVID break and back onto the boat for lovely adventures along the coast of France. They are both very down to earth and also humorous at times. I believe he is from London and she is from Australia. They are in the process of building a catamaran and meanwhile have been sharing adventures from a catamaran they have been using in Austraila to get the feel for catamaran sailing while their boat is being built. I have loved watching them with coffee on Sunday mornings. They share their explorations at each port, along with their brews, and breads and croissants – yet they seem to never gain weight! They hike and share the views and stroll along the cities edges and give us the feel for each port and anchorage. They take their sailing seriously, paying attention to the weather windows, waves and currents, and tides. While obviously there other sailors with video channels that may do the same, Nick and Terysa take time to explain things and often share charts and graphs in their videos. I love how they make sure to have a safe passage or entrances into ports and they often explain what they are doing and why. But they are open to share their mistakes which seem to be few. I also love the banter between the two which they are very good to share the down sides to sailing and even living with another person in a small space, even sharing some of their light disputes. But they are a playful couple that I love to watch! They are a favorite too! Oh so hard to claim who is my favorite crew!

Link: Sailing Ruby Rose

Sailing Zatara

This one grabbed my attention as it was a family. And a fun family at that. Keith and Renee and their family aboard a big catamaran. These folks are down to earth and feel like they were my neighbors at one time, or perhaps a coworker. It seems like I’ve known them forever. And yet weird again as they have no clue who I am, lol. But I enjoy watching the “goings on” on this crew. You’ll see family fun clips of sailing, docking, what they do at sea, what they do on land. You will see “kiting” out on the sea, some good drone clips, musical moments. I love the clips that Renee gets of whatever the family is doing throughout the boat. They are older kids and are doing their home schooling aboard. Currently they are in Australia. They have a daughter that is back in college that they have not seen since Covid hit. They have plans to catch up and I hope this next Covid spell does not cancel their plans to see her. I’ve come to love the personalities of each of the family. Lots of spirited folks on board here. Love keeping up with them weekly. Renee is such an inspiration with all she does on board and in running the videos. Sometimes the kids have done their own Teen Tuesday videos.

Link: Sailing Zatara

M J Sailing

Matt and Jessica I found first. I found it while looking for reality sailing blogs. And I found their blog and then began watching when I realized they had a YouTube channel. It was very much by mistake that I began watching these sailing shows on YouTube. I began getting suggestions from YouTube or saw mentions of other channels and slowly followed each of them either keeping or discarding as I would resonate with them – or not. Matt and Jessica I love to keep up with. They currently are building a Catamaran and are not on the water so much right now. The adventures out on the water are my favorite. They have been to some incredible places. I admire their ability to cruise and find the best windows of opportunity. If I personally was going sailing with anyone, I would go with them. They seem to find the safest routes or should I say “weather windows”. I love this about them. They seem very wise and methodical with their approach to sailing. Recently they went to the Arctic circle and explored in places not seen very much. I believe it was around Norway. Names I’d never heard. They love their arrival zones and finding the best places for a good nights sleep with the least of swell and a good beer as their sundowner. I like when they show us the beer the find on their excursions. Quite fun. I’ll be watching more intently as they do their shake down cruises and splash down time with the new boat. I’m not into the builds so much so taking a back seat on this for a while. But for those interested – in building – they do a great job. I can’t wait til they are out cruising on this new cat and it looks like it is coming together! Can they get the materials? What a time to try to do this? Or maybe it’s the best time while Covid wreaks its head again.

Link: MJ Sailing

Sailing Uma

Link: Sailing Uma

I follow this one, as they have some amazing adventures. I’ll be honest, I’d watch more if I had more time. But it is one of the most popular sailing channels out there. So I’m providing you with this one. They are very spirited and fun individuals and share their “get off your couch” and “don’t buy a sofa” mentality so you can head for your adventures. Recently they have been in the arctic areas. Since I’ve not watched lately I’m not exactly sure where they are. But because of it’s popularity I didn’t want to miss telling you that I often have watched this one.

There are so many others out there but I’ve just not resonated with or didn’t feel a connection to, if you will, for whatever reason. But I wanted to share with you what I watch instead of TV a lot of the time. Most of these – I believe they all have Patreon Accounts that you can be a member of to help them with their videos and to be able to adventure to provide coverage of their trips and exploration. You often get perks such as special clips and chats and meet ups.

I follow RV’ers too. And sometime I will do an entry for them too. But I hope if you have some time, you will check these out and see what you think. If you like it you will have hours of time to watch as you can go back and start from the beginning, or just sit and pick out your favorites. You can pick up from where they are or watch past episodes. It’s fun to see other parts of the world as these talented folks share their dream lives and realities with us.