The mice have moved in!😩

Asleep in my car; awakened at 2am to the sound of scratching. What the heck?; I said to myself. Figured it had to be outside Serenity; tried to ignore it and headed back to la la land.. At 5am I was at my wits end and just couldn’t take it anymore! Popped open my trunk and went outside to take a look; hoping to ‘rule out’ the noise was coming from inside my home.. oh no!.. one lone mouse, looking so innocent was sitting on top of my dressing room tent in my packed full trunk. The mouse or ‘mice’ had moved in and at my home in WA 6 weeks after I had started a new seasonal job as a camp host .

Carefully I grabbed the folded up circular tent to try to remove him (or her🤔) without disrupting his morning serenity with no avail. This smart (or dumb) critter ran deeper into my garage (trunk) to fend for his life. Good idea as this would be the beginning of my waging war on the unwelcome guests.

I then opened the hood of my home and sure enough him or his brother had made their way from the back to the front. My new camping friends came over and started poking him with a stick. Round and round throughout the maze of wires he ran.

Next I emptied my garage so that should he or his family appear I would have better sight to conquer and of course there would be less hiding places for them! Yes; that same evening I came to learn there was a family but how many still remained unknown. There were 2 or 3 scurrying around; seeming to be lost! Their home was a deep enclosed hole not the wide open forest they were more accustomed to. No food, no wate; what was their plan?!

I researched getting rid of mice for hours. bounce dryer sheets, peppermint oil on cotton balls, a couple rodent botanical packs I still had from my launch to AZ.. for this moment in time?? Traps were set; given to me by my manager. In addition I was loaned a National Forest trap to wage war. You can search on you tube to see exactly what I’m referring to and how to make one yourself if ever you need to! My wonderful neighbor also plugged up the vent inside the trunk (where they most likely entered) with foil. Not a tasty product for critters to gnaw through!😳

The first night of the invasion I slept in a tent that had been given to me by the company I was working for as part of my home set up for the season. It was definitely a ‘God send’ as I was very squeamish to be inside ‘Serenity Sedan’.. no serenity!

a temporary home away from home 😊

The next morning I awoke early to pop open the trunk again and see what I could see. OMG.. a beautifully constructed nest from twigs, leaves and blue threads built on the floor of the garage (trunk😊) the size of a big serving platter! That was their plan.. procreation! Yes; and some of the family in plain sight. Instinctively I grabbed my ‘picker’ that I use for tidying up the campsites that was leaning up against a huge tree. Got em! Got 2! How many more?

Over the course of the next day and a half.. 6 captured.. dead or alive! I slept in my tent one night, Serenity the next.. then tent then Serenity.. back and forth between 2 homes to sleep (or not). Finally no noise, no more unwelcome tenants! Praise God.

I located an Acura dealer about 60 miles away. It was important for my sanity (or what was left of it) to have a professional access the damage and find out where the ‘blue threads’ in their home had come from. The manager of sales was shocked to hear they had set up home in my trunk. In his 20 years of work he had known them to get under the hood but not the trunk. He reassured me that he had never experienced people dealing with them in their cab. No damage done! The manager thought the blue threads had most likely had come from inside the seats. I’m still not convinced as the day my neighbor found the vent in the trunk he dismantled all the soundproof wall backing and found no evidence of mice destruction. Oh well; to this day the mystery remains.

Mr Acura manager commented if I could just stick it out for another week or 2 that WA was coming up on their finest weather of the entire year. The rain would cease (maybe a condition prone to mice?) 70 daytime, 50’s at night.. Heavenly temps for a car dweller for sure.

I really was looking forward to ‘perfect weather’. With a lot of prayers and contemplation I decided to arm Serenity with every weapon I knew possible and see how things would look in a week. I purchased solar lights to encase Serenity, set her wheels on huge black trash bags (apparently they don’t like the feel of plastic) along with the above mentioned items.. I was ready for any and all attacks! Watch video here to grasp the set up I did.. https://youtu.be/ZhajyP7yhF4

Unfortunately, throughout the next week and a half war broke out.. 40+ pesties no longer with us. Each morning I woke up to what I called a ‘war zone’. The first job of the day was mouse clean up and re establishing the traps for the next go round. My serene and simple life was diminishing rapidly. With no end in sight I asked God- ‘what now?.. what next’?

On the following consecutive days off I went to the quaint town of Leavenworth to contemplate and rest in God’s peace. https://youtu.be/MusKxBfOv3Q

I also visited another campground where there was a camp host position open to see if it might be a more desirable location.. away from water like I currently was stationed. It didn’t feel any less invasive. After all..the forest are these crazy critters home and us humans are the true invaders😩.

God revealed to me it was time to pack it up and leave. It’s hard to explain but I felt the ‘peace that passes all understanding’.

Off to Utah I headed for another job after a 2 week sabbatical to regroup and refresh my soul.. Although there are mice to be found wherever you roam I had not dealt with any intrusion in 10 months on the road prior to WA.

This story ends with no mice in the 8 weeks at my second seasonal job.

new home lot

Thank you Jesus! Praising Him from whom all blessings flow.

Wishing you a mouse free life and/or future.

smiles and joy,

Linda

Staying put.. how do I cope?

As kids wrapped up school the 2nd and 3rd week of June I decided it was time to stay put at my campsite home on my days off.

My home at Red Bridge campground

One of the guests here at the campground said the crowds would be massive at the hot spots in WA; like the National parks.

Until then I had been taking off for extended road trips.. utilizing every moment I had till I needed to be back on the job. Sometimes I would take off Tuesday evening after a short day of work and return early am on Friday to gear up for a busy weekend. I enjoyed the memories made and now I am savoring the quickly passing summer months as I moved on to Utah for another seasonal job.

The days got long outdoors when staying put. They definitely were long when I lived the house or apartment life. When boredom or loneliness creeps in I find errands to run. I’m constantly needing to fill my business orders in a timely manner. Here in Utah I work inside a store so the outdoors is a new treat!

I had a routine of sorts to while away the passing hours while in WA. I took smaller over nite day trips to fill time. Google voice is my friend to find local ‘parks near me’. I love a store bought salad at a picnic table!

Marked down salad from Walmart.. my favorite 💛

In addition I have been working on crocheting afghans for Christmas gifts and keeping up with crocheting a couple beanies per week to give to some homeless shelters at Christmas time. I love sitting on my camp chair or at the picnic table to work at my new hobby.

❤️ my new hobby.. very relaxing😊

Staying put in one location with the closest internet and cell connection over 17 miles away had its challenges as well as its perks. At my job now in Utah I have WiFi and cell! Like anything in life; you choose how you want it to turn out; good or bad; barring unexpected circumstances.

I asked God to ‘slow down the train’ in my life with what I feel I need to do and accomplish. Staying put at the camp host job has definitely helped me to let go of the need to always feel like I should be going somewhere or doing something. Long time coming! I’m grateful for these days of doing nothing or at least ‘next to nothing’😊

My wish for you is that you too can enjoy the ‘doing nothing’ parts of life and be content in nature and in the quiet moments of life.

smiles and joy,

Linda

Sedan and a Storage.. No Sticks and Bricks..

A resurfacing question amongst nomads is – Do you have a sticks and bricks (permanent home) to go back to if you need a break or this lifestyle doesn’t work out over the long run? I really don’t have any proven statistics on how many of the 1000’s of full timers do or don’t have another home but my best guess is at least half don’t if not more. After all full time is full time in my mind with no other place to call home besides your home on wheels. I am full time, no sticks and bricks to head back home to. My 2003 Acura TL ‘Serenity Sedan’ is my home.

I’m renting a 7 X 10 storage unit which is primarily housing the product I sell, along with some memorabilia I couldn’t seem to part with, an heirloom rocker that I nursed and rocked my babies in.. now in their 30’s, a couple shelf units, a tv that I tried to sell along with a couple bins of holiday decorations.

This is it! One keepsake or dumpster😊 load

Product, product and more product! Say It Display It®️

Besides what is with me; this is all I own.

It feels wonderful! The thoughts of leaving very little work for someone to discard of my belongings coupled with being a true minimalist is also a rewarding feeling at this stage of my life.

The thought crosses my mind to consider having a tiny unit like the new ‘She Sheds’ being built if I needed a break from the road, a place to regroup, have my grand kids and children come to visit me in a stationery place. One never knows about our health either and I realize things can change on a dime.

I’m just not sure at this early stage of ‘New Beginnings’ what the future holds. God knows. I ask Him daily to lead me and even to slow down this train on occassion. That He has done. No one knows what tomorrow will bring but for today; with no other place to call home  but my nest ‘Serenity Sedan’ it feels right and I am perfectly content.

I wish for you contentment in whatever the place you call ‘home’ looks like.

smiles and joy,

Linda

Renew~Refresh~Rejuvenate.. ‘God winks’

As the temperatures started to climb in AZ I began making plans where to head next. A few people along this journey have asked me if I had ever been to Lake Mead; that it was stunning. Well the answer was ‘no’. I don’t particularly like that word.. I think It has something to do with having a negative connotation to me and somehow not getting my way😄. I was was ready to say ‘Yes’ to Lake Mead. It was through an unlikely moment at the  laundromat bumping into a new buddy I met while hiking who recommended Six Mile  Cove in Lake Mead National recreation area. Sounded to me like a new home to renew, refresh and rejuvenate.

Spent 4 days here.. totally ‘unplugged’.. no WiFi.. no cell..

As part of this new rejuvenate journey I have been writing a lot, working my you tube channel answering lots of questions! I’ve also been staying happily busy making new friends, learning about them and sharing stories of life with one another. Now it was just going to be me, myself and I experiencing a different kind of ‘refresh and rejuvenate’.

Lake Mead

I had just purchased a ‘America the Beautiful ‘ the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. I was stoked! It would be my first time using it. Wahoo.. drive in through.. no fees! My kind of sight seeing!

Scenery I could stare at all day

Recently I have been talking to a friend who has shared with me what she calls ‘God winks’. Running into my new friend Monty at the laundromat, us chattering about where we had all been and where to go next was what I would call a God wink!

I spent 3 glorious days at Six Mile Cove. I read a 200 page novel in a day and a half. A reading record for me! I practiced some new crochet stitches and stared out on the lake being entertained by kite and wind surfing. Free shows, fresh air and a freedom I presented myself to ‘do nothing’. A hard one for me!

Who will I talk to?😉🤔

I took off down the road for another beauty about 60 miles away. As I was packing up a new friend walked by. I casually mentioned I was heading on down the road but not sure where. He told me about the ‘Overton Arm’ and they like to go to Stewart’s Landing. I truly have no clue about these places; even if I looked at a map or knew how to read one! OMG! Could this be another God wink? 2 in one week? I set up home for another 3 days.. basking in the Nevada sun, listening to the still of the lake, reading and staring out on the massive lake and magnificent mountains lining the exterior. Once again I felt the warmth of God’s love, providing me yet another opportunity to renew, refresh and rejuvenate.

On to St George, Utah next.

Love to library hop on this journey!

Along the way I drove through Hoover Dam, Red Rock Picnic area and a couple magnificent over looks. The kind that draw you in like a magnet.

After all the beauty and serenity of the prior week I decided to spend a few nights just hanging out at Pilots with Burger King connected..

cozy and comfortable sleep!

no setting up my dressing room or fighting with the fiercely blowing winds that were upon us. It was a re-group time. I hunkered down in my nest and worked on my crochet skills. The rumbling of 18 Wheelers trucks coming and going was calming to me.. like white noise. I rested peacefully enjoying the coming and going of vehicles. I spent a half day in Burger king using their free wi-fi to back up my phone while finishing up my first crochet beanie hat!

Andy modeling the first of many!

Quite a contrast; but nevertheless I found complete joy as I focused on a new hobby. My plan is to crochet beanies while working my seasonal jobs in Washington and Utah to give away in the fall to some homeless shelters.

Where do you go to renew, refresh and rejuvenate? Do you experience God wink moments? My wish for you is that you have those ‘places’ and you do.☀️❤️

smiles and joy,

Linda

From the ‘I’ themed collection of Say It Display It®️

 

 

Travels while working ~ Joy in the journey

It has been an amazing time of experiencing new places on my days off while working 25 hours a week as a camp host. Two days a week I leave my camphost site and head out into the great unknown to explore, see new sites and be filled with new memories.

Experiencing the road to the sun in Glacier National Park, Montana

Travels while working provides me time to experience places I would never see in my lifetime if it weren’t for choosing to live life as a nomad full time in my car. I know I repeat this statement often. I’m just so unbelievably grateful for these opportunities I’ve been blessed with. Joy in the journey has taken on a much more significant meaning!

Glacier National Park in July 2019

Over the course of 4 weeks.. 8 days 2 days off each week) I have traveled 1000’s of miles to enjoy and embrace this beautiful country.. the USA.

Week one.. Bellingham and Anacortes.. massive amount of boats, breathtaking beauty, clear waters, and serenity at its finest.. Watch here to visit these beautiful cities alongside me..https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEwD6JUrsH0bKlSf6YDdwwy0J8oqIDyci

Anacortes.. breathtaking.. boats, boats and more boats!

Week two.. Olympic National Park.. gorgeous scenery, magnificent deer grazing out in the open, snow capped mountain peaks.. oh the joy in the journey!

Never experienced anything like this scenery!

Week three.. Mt St. Helens.. learning about what transpired and seeing the ‘comeback’ of nature is beyond words.. I have gained a whole new appreciation for National forests and the work that is done to sustain us and nature..

a must experience for yourself!

Week four.. North Cascades National Park.. Even though I can find beauty everywhere I look I can see why people would claim Washington as the most beautiful state in the country. The massive old Cedars, Douglas Firs and so many other standing tall trees; lining beautiful lakes, mountains and glaciers is a sight like no other.

photos don’t lie😊

What can I say? I am beyond grateful to live in this wonderful country and to be able to travel while working a dream job by a beautiful river is an opportunity of a lifetime.

I hope you too are able to travel, sight see and experience all of God’s masterpiece while working or retired!

saw this at the returns check in desk at Walmart

smiles and joy,

Linda

What Day of the Week is It? Doing this lifestyle right

No WiFi, no cell service, no calendar, no clocks.. just the chirping of birds, the sound of the running river, and an occasional vehicle rolling by.. What day of the week is it? On most days I’m really not sure unless it’s time to leave my campsite and hit the road for new exploring and experiences.

My camp host site at Red Bridge, WA

They say you are doing this lifestyle right if you don’t have a clue what day of the week it is or even the time of day for that matter! Hmm.. I think I have fulfilled the necessary requirements for doing this gypsy nomad life right!

As a camphost I am required to keep track of my work time, list reservations and complete a spreadsheet each week of money brought in. So I guess you could say In a business sense I am mostly aware of the day of the week. Time not so much.. the days fly by and before I know it the month is gone. This happens in a conventional lifestyle as well but the feeling of paying attention to time seems less important.

The campers are always coming and going here.. it’s a full house most of the summer. One group leaves and another appears. Before I know it the weekend is here or gone and the cycle continues..

Mt. Baker~Snoqualmie National Forest loop

I am truly digging the lack of pressure that comes with going with the flow.. one day runs into the next.. from cold to warm to semi hot weather car dwelling. Like nature.. in and out of the seasons.. spending the majority of my days outdoors and the evenings tucked comfortably in my nest- ‘Serenity Sedan’.

camp site.. serene and simple

How does your time and days look? Does it move like the sun and the moon in a free flowing, running together way or are your days organized and structured?

Sunrise at Mt Rainer

They say that time is our most precious commodity and of course none of us know how much time or how many days we have. My wish for you is that the movement of your days and time is fulfilling and meaningful. It is truly to be savored and enjoyed however it moves for you.

smiles and joy,

Linda

Second Leg of the Journey..dreams~ fun and more

Statistically we live to be 78.7 according to Fortune If I live to be 78.7 years old I have approximately 17.3 years left on planet earth.  That doesn’t feel like much time yet when you make the most of every day it’s an abundant amount of time to fullfill dreams, make a difference and have fun. Yes statistically my life is over 3/4 behind me or with 1/4 left (God willing) to live my best years yet!

As I chose to live a life as a nomad and set out into the great unknown September 2018 I have felt like I am on the second leg of my journey. The first leg into adulthood was a marriage of 9 years then raising 2 children as a single mom while keeping a roof over our head with sticks and bricks. That span of time was approximately 19 years give or take when my daughter got married and my role as a mom ceased to exist as I knew it.. being needed to console, advise or help as most mothers want to do in their kids lives. I now consider myself as just plain single as being ‘married’ and ‘divorced’ feels like a lifetime ago.

Now instead of the mom role I’m a grandma to 3 sweet peas. I love and miss them dearly but I have been called to live life off the grid as a nomad. Only God knows for how long. My gypsy soul is indeed the second leg of my journey. It was a necessary decision for my sanity as well as my finances. My business needed a financial lift and my spirit needed a boost.

rejoice~ relax~ rejuvenate
this about sums it up😊

Being on the second leg of my journey is very exciting. I’ve been given a second chance to have a new beginnings with fresh insights and opportunities.. I’m looking forward to writing a happy ending to this second leg.. off the tread mill into the great unknown.

What does your dreams, fun and more look like? I wish all of it for you.

smiles and joy,

Linda