Thursday, September 1, 2016

This nor that.

This is probably the hardest blog entry for me to write. I don't have clear thoughts, so I am just going to write and see where I end up.

I have been in Colorado almost two months now. I am now by myself with just my two dogs. I bought a little motorcycle and decided I would head up the mountain around the Pikes Peak area to get back to nature which has always been a failsafe for me. In the past, when things were unclear or if the world became too much for me, I would simply go to nature and easily reconnect with myself and the things that are important to me in my life.

This trip not so much. I found being isolated with nature to be completely unbearable. I felt like I would explode. The silence was not golden. I tried to sit and be still with the trees, but watching the gentle swaying just made me sadder. I started to cry and the tears fell heavy. I don't think I can recall a time that I have cried like that, it was reminiscent of the emotion I felt when my grandmother who I adored died. I thought I would never stop. The sobbing continued until I couldn't catch my breath any longer. I am really sad. It's the sadness that lies deep and cuts your belly to bits. I decided I better do something active because this is killing me. There was still some daylight left and I decided maybe a bike ride would do me some good.

I drove about 8 Miles up the mountain, over some pretty rough terrain for this little bike. There was such incredible scenery that should have given me a great feeling of joy, but I just felt the emptiness of it all.

I sat in an open field that was nestled between the mountain and the trees and turned off my motorcycle. I took off my helmet and sat there and listened, to myself, to the birds, and to the wind. I leaned back against a tree and shut my eyes. I listened but heard no answers. My mind was whirling out of control. I felt anxious and started to get a headache. I raised my head and looked to my left and saw a huge buck making his way out of the tree line. Our eyes met. He looked at me out from under this enormous rack with strength and grace and we stared at each other. A million thoughts ran through my head. I became so overwhelmed. It was an amazing moment and I had no one to share it with and I began to cry. It was this moment I knew how lonely I am and that something had changed in me. Not just lonely but alone.

I used to love being alone. I wore my ability to do so like a badge. A badge of what? Independence. Toughness. I'm not really sure. A wall. A shield. Fear. I never felt I would have any problem being completely isolated and cut off from society. I welcomed it. Well our experiences in life change us and I guess that is a good thing although right now I'm not sure of anything. I need people and people need me and that is all I really know right now.

I watched as the buck continued on his way and decided I better be getting back as it would be getting dark soon and I just didnt feel like riding and my chest hurt and I was feeling very tired. I tried starting the bike and there was a problem with my throttle. Now all I can think is I am going to have to push this all the way back which was an exhausting and daunting thought. I have taken this little bike up over rocks, through mud and I was feeling really tired, my back and kidneys hurt from the rough ride. I eventually got it started and took off for the RV. The ride down was pretty hairy. I didn't have my contacts in so I couldnt see the terrain ahead very well. I made quite a few bad decisions with my route which was accompanied by quite a few very bad words echoing all the way back down the mountain. It seemed to be much harder going down and I was feeling tired, all my muscles were tightening up. I kept thinking, " Fuck, I'm old". "I dont remember riding being this hard."

I got back to the RV just before dark with about 5 minutes to spare. My throttle made the bike bog down and die all the way home. Thankfully, I made it back and by this time my helmet felt so heavy and my head was throbbing. All I wanted was it off my head. I was so exhausted. I had to sit on the steps and take off my helmet. The climb into the RV took everything I had. Something is very wrong. I collapsed on the bed. My head is pounding the world is spinning. I can't catch my breath. I think I am having a panic attack at first but the weakness is getting increasingly worse and now I'm feeling sick to my stomach. I have no strength and I tried getting out of bed and fell onto one knee. I have no balance and no strength. I pushed myself back up into bed. I'm just focusing on my breathing and that's all I remember. I woke up because I am going to throw up and I need to get to the bathroom. I am so weak I could barely get to the edge of the bed before the vomiting started. I threw up all over the old carpet I had cut in layers for easy disposal incase the dogs had an accident on the top layer I could just toss it. I never thought it would be me that would be having the accident. My head was throbbing,
however I did retain my sense of humor during the vomiting, I am feeling incredibly lonely and really struggling with the aloneness and I couldn't help but think God, I am glad I am alone right now. That is the last thing I remember until I woke up and it was light out.

I felt very groggy. The headache was still really bad and I am very weak. I am really ill. I have no phone signal where I am camping and I need to get out of here.
I was aware of elevation sickness and had no idea as to how severe it is to experience. It took me all day to try and get my motorcycle back inside and hook the RV battery up. The whole day is blurry. I drove down to a lower elevation and parked. I dont recall any of the drive down or the next few hours after I parked. I texted a friend to ask for a place to go.

I feel much better physically today, although I'm tired and drained. Pretty lifeless. I'm not in the greatest of places. I have no desire to go back into the woods. It was so empty. I don't want to go to Alaska by myself anymore. My world is upside down. I feel very lost. I am lost. I feel so alone. I am alone. I don't want pity. I don't want anything. I can't think clearly enough to want anything. I just want to tell my story. It's my journey and I own all of my story not just the funny parts. I feel very human. I have no direction anymore. I have no desire or interest in seeing any places. I need new dreams and I worry that I don't have any left. I'm going to go find my home.

Thanks for reading. Sorry it wasnt funny.
                                                                Paige
                                                   .
                                           
                                                          
                                         

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Abby Normal

There's just been so much that has happened since my last entry. I really am horrible at blogging because now I can't remember the funny stories that have happened along the way.
So let's try and get you somewhat caught up. We left Texas and drove to Louisiana so that Page and her son Alex could spend their birthdays together back in October. We dressed up for Halloween and had a great time in the French Quarter with all the crazies. The highlight was meeting our facebook friend Carole, who is from Wales, and her mates. It had been a stressful few months in Texas and they gave us the laughter that we both really needed. We really didn't understand anything they were saying but we were pretty sure it was damn funny.
We decided it was our best plan of action to drive to Connecticut and register the RV here. So that pretty much covers it, minus all the laughter and chaos we endured, sorry about that. I am going to try and be a better blogger in the future.

"Mother" RIP
So life has gone full circle. Last winter I was trying to leave Connecticut and get to Page and here I am again trying to get to her. I am in Connecticut and Page is back in Kentucky. Page's grandma passed away so she flew home to be with her mom during this difficult time. She will be staying there through the holidays. I am glad that she is with her mom for the holidays I think they both really need to be with each other.
Christmas hasn't meant anything to me since my own grandmother passed away. Her house was the hub of Christmas festivities. It just isn't the same without her. I was really looking forward to                                                
spending Christmas with Page this year. I was really hoping that being in love with Page would help in rekindling that Christmas spirit. I have been doing some painting to try and earn enough money to get this RV squared away so I could drive to Kentucky for Christmas and be with Page. That hasn't exactly worked out though, I just haven't been able to work enough hours. I have let go of that hope now and I am okay with it. Like they say, "It is what it is. Life on life's terms." I've never been very good with that whole concept but I am getting better. I miss Page terribly. I am very lonely without her. We have spent every moment together since we met 10 months ago. There is an empty void here now. She is so very special to me. I simply adore her.  I cried all the way home from the airport. I hated that I wasn't able to go with her and support her with the loss of her grandma. That is my job and I let myself down. Page understands we just didn't have the funds for two tickets but I feel real crappy about it.

I am dealing with quite a bit right now. I am losing my hearing in my right ear. I thought perhaps I just needed to get tubes put in and everything would be fine and dandy. I was wrong. It's permanent. I just came back from the ear doctor he went over my brain MRI with me and what I found out has thrown me for a loop. I am 49 years old and I like to think that I am pretty sharp except for losing lighters constantly. My results were shocking. At some point in time my brain experienced some ischemia. ( No oxygen to the brain) He inquired if I had ever had a stroke or a brain injury..my answer was no. He told me that my brain is twenty years older than what it should look like. Of course the first thought was damn I am pretty smart now if only I didn't have an old brain I would be really smart, like Stephen Hawking smart. Haha! I was told that I need to stop smoking immediately and my brain will be fine but continue to smoke and dementia will be in my future.
So, I was in a daze when I left his office. I went outside and had a cigarette and did some math problems in my head while deeply inhaling just to make sure I could still calculate. Tomorrow will be the start of my new life as a nonsmoker. I have been wanting to quit for a long time so I guess the time has come.
I go back to the doctor on the 29th to see about a hearing aid. I was very relieved that my insurance will pay most of the cost. My out of pocket expense will be $380 which is a whole hell of a lot of money but better than the full price of a hearing aid, so I am grateful.
I am still in somewhat of a state of shock. I love my brain. I have a great brain. I should have taken better care of it. I am desperately trying not to beat myself up. The unfortunate truth is we just don't care when we are young and stupid. Hell I didn't care if I lived or died for many years. I care now though my life has finally gotten to where I have always dreamed it would be one day. I am so very happy with who I have become and where I am heading. I have done a lot of growing these past few years. I have worked very hard on myself and it has paid off. I love my life and I love Page and I want to spend a long happy life with her.

( and now for some whining...brace yourselves)
I miss Page.
God I miss Page.
I wish she was here with me.
I would give anything to see her smile right about now.
Another revelation for me is that although I am a very independent woman my relationship with Page has proven to me that I need her. I have never felt like I needed anyone in my life. I do need her and I love that feeling. It doesn't come from a place of weakness, it comes from a place inside my heart. It's a beautiful thing. Finding Page has been like finding a hidden treasure. I am truly blessed.
Ok enough of this rambling. Let's kick this around a bit. I don't feel sorry for myself. I am disappointed in my younger self but not much I can do with that so I'll just turn it around. I am grateful I found out today that cigarettes have to go. I am grateful I have the ability to change. I am grateful a hearing aid might help me. But mostly, I am grateful that my brain still looks cute on the MRI even though its old.
We will be back on the road in January and heading South to destinations unknown.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all that jazz from Page and I.
Happy holidays from our family to you.
 
*Ms. Page I will see you soon my love. Here is a warning for you:
Keep up with the old brain jokes my dear. You will see how I turn this into a big advantage.
For example:
I can't dump the sewer baby my brain is too old. You will have to do it after you make me some coffee.
I love you baby and miss you like crazy.
See you soon!
 PS. if you see any spelling errors or it looks like it was cut off in mid sentence I (Page) did that in editing... you are welcome

Sometimes all you can do is roll with it
 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Trailer Painting "Blues"

We haven't blogged in awhile. Time to play some catch up.
The biggest news to get you all caught up on is Page and I are getting married. I thought I was being very slick when I asked her but she totally knew it was coming and of course she didn't go easy on me. She teased me all night, " How come your hands are all sweaty?" "You seem awfully flushed, why is your heart beating so fast?" "Are you having a heart attack?" I couldn't believe she knew I was going to ask her. I kept thinking that little shit knows. I finally was able to pull myself together and ask. She said " Yes" and that was the best day of my life by far. I am thrilled and so very happy to be committed to such an amazing woman. I knew she was the one that I have been waiting for and I look forward to spending the rest of my life by her side.
We are still in Texas and not any closer to getting back on the road than when we got here. However, we have been working on remodeling the inside of the RV and that has been so much fun. We got a free truckload of pallet wood and went to town. We made furniture and whitewashed some and used that for a floor. We think it looks great. It's definitely not flawless but Page says it gives it character. So yeah there is a lot of "character"
Texas has taken some getting used to but we are adapting. The weather has nearly killed me and well let's just say Page has had some issues with the Texas critters. A few weeks ago Page went outside in the middle of the night to "pass water". (she won't let me say pee pee in the woods). I was sound asleep. I was suddenly woken up by horrid screaming. I sat straight up in bed and saw a light outside like a frantic search light moving and darting every which way. I then heard Page yelling "No no no no no no!!!" I thought maybe a backwoods redneck had gotten her. Well it turns out that on her way to "pass water" there was a snake taking a midnight snooze right on Page's pathway. This is how my girl rolls. She got so scared at the sight of this snake that she jumped right out of her shoe. Here is the kicker. She went back and confronted the snake for her shoe!! That's what the No no no no screaming was all about. What can I say the woman loves her shoes. I proceeded to get out of bed and go scare the snake away. Oh pardon me I proceeded to get up and scare the "Anaconda" away.
So this run in with the snake really traumatized Page. I have to escort her everywhere she goes at night. Two nights ago I caught her staring out the window above our bed. I asked her what she was looking at. She said she was scared a snake was going to fall out of the tree. I had to remind her that Texas doesn't have ninja snakes that break through windows and this put her at ease.
This brings us to today. We have been  painting trailers for our friends art event and Page has taken it upon herself to wear her cowboy boots that come up to her knees,she thinks they are snake boots now. I keep begging her to wear sneakers while we paint. She absolutely refuses. She says she can't concentrate on painting if she isn't fully protected from snakes.
Page won't let me get up on the ladder because I have too many injuries to list. So today Page is painting with bright blue paint up on the ladder while I stand on the ground by her painting the green part on the bottom.
All of a sudden I hear a crash. Page and her "snake boots" slipped while coming down the ladder. We only had one gallon of the bright blue paint and that is the only thing on Page's poor little mind, "Save the paint, Save the paint!"
I am going to very carefully explain the sight I saw today. Page was laying in a heap at the bottom of the ladder. She was moving so I took that as a positive sign. I ran over to her and she was face down over the paint bucket. I asked her if she was hurt. Without picking her head up she said she was okay and that she twisted her ankle. I was so worried and very scared, but I was so relieved she wasn't hurt badly. She was still staring at the ground. I stood behind her and helped her to her feet. She turned around and faced me. I have to again be very careful here in describing the sight before me.I'm sure you have all seen the movie The Exorcist. Well Page was Linda Blair but instead of pea soup it looked as if the demons being exorcised were smurfs. My poor baby's face. She was covered in bright blue smurf residue. It was in her eyes, her nose, and most definitely her mouth. I knew this because her tongue was hanging out of her mouth so far she would have made Gene Simmons proud.
Now this was a critical moment for me. I love this woman with all my heart. She is my fiancé. I really had to maintain and help her wipe all the smurf from all her facial orifices and not abandon her to run and get the camera. Oh what a dilemma to be faced with...capture the moment forever or have the engagement called off. I chose Page and my personal safety and washed her up. I wrapped her foot and iced it and sent her to bed with her foot elevated. I managed to not even grin during any of it. I do love her.
Here are some pictures of some of the work we have been helping with and our RV.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Texas O' Texas

Here we are in Texas at our friend Zina's house. It was only an hour and a half drive but we held our breath all the way here. I even thought I heard Page chanting," Om please dont let a tire shoot off" " Om please don't burst into flames" We are where old trailers come to be reborn. Zina is very talented at fixing up old trailers and giving them a beautiful new life. Zina has opened her home to us and offered to give her expert advice on how to make our RV our home. More importantly she has given us a sanctuary to just unwind, destress, and stop worrying for awhile. We are so grateful.

Upon our arrival we jumped out of the RV to a very warm welcome and unfortunately a very warm radiator. I couldn't believe it when I walked in front of the RV so relieved to have made it and saw the puddle of antifreeze dripping down from above. Our radiator is leaking...heavy sigh...add it to the ever growing list of issues.
You may recall that my dog Skipper was hit by a truck when we were in Garrison and had to have his back leg amputated. He had an infection post op after he tore apart his incision, hence the conehead. I am very happy to report that the infection has cleared, the cone is off and he is doing really well. Not having a back leg hasn't slowed him down much at all. I took him for a walk and he managed to jump over a huge tree that had fallen, so all is well.
If you have never been to Texas here are a few things you need to know. You dont ever have to check the weather reports. It is always hot here, and you will always have swamp ass, so there is that. Also, if you dare go out into the smoltering heat be prepared to run for your life from all kinds of crazy ass bugs. If the mosquitos don't suck every last drop of blood from your body you should have enough strength to put on a helmet for the diving june bugs and just run as fast as you can back into the RV being sure to bring your knees up high to jump the chiggers,spiders and weird wood bugs with antennas that like to touch your legs just enough to make you scream like Michael Jackson. This heat is sumpthin'.We tried to run just a fan last night to cut down on our electric bill and that lasted all of about 7 minutes. Page asked if I could feel the breeze. I said, " Yes, if you mean that hot sufficating wind." I thought I was getting mouth to mouth from Satan himself.
We helped Zina with her trailer she calls the Indian outlaw which she needed to finish for a wedding. The bride would be arriving in the trailer, that was fun and I got to sharpen my rusty painting skills. We also got to go out on the pontoon boat for Independence day and that was beautiful. We had a blast getting pulled in the tube. Page rocked it and whooped it up and I mostly just bounced around.
Page and I then sat down and discussed a game plan as how to approach this RV with limited cashflow. We decided that we really need a break from worrying about the mechanical issues and just focus on the interior. We have been living in chaos since we met so it's time to just chill out and design the home we want.
The day after we arrived Zina leaped into action and up on the roof. She fixed our faulty roof repair and also our leaking air conditioner. No more buckets catching water, that made a huge difference right off the bat.
We have been trying to sleep on the God awful pull out couch since we picked this up in Oklahoma. I have a bad back to begin with and now I am experiencing new pains shooting down my legs that feel like all my muscles are ripping. I thought at first maybe I had a blood clot from being squished in the SUV rental at first, but now I realize it is stemming from my back and most likely aggravated by the damn crooked, bar stuck in your back, wish you would just die, pullout couch bed. So first order was to build a bed. We bought a mattress as soon as we could and Page and Zina built us a nice bed with a great storage box underneath. I've included some pictures of some bed building action shots. It was my job to open the hinges and brackets and document their hard work. Ta-da we have a bed and boy it feels much more like a home in here now.
Today I have been asked by Page to please stay in bed and try and let my body heal and not do any painting. Now those of you who know me might think that is my specialty. I thought so too but I am really struggling just laying here and not doing anything. I am really excited to build this the way we want so there is that. Also, I love Page so dearly and we have been through so much. I just want her to love our new home and that can't happen fast enough for me. She is fine with the process and is showing a lot of patience it's me that is slightly anxious this time around, maybe because she threatened to tie me up with her yarn and duct tape me to the bed if I even think about picking up a paint brush. I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is taking care of me and I need to let her. It's wonderful to feel so loved. So I have spent the afternoon day dreaming, writing a little poetry for Page, and now blogging. We really balance each other out. We have had some rough days but we are that much stronger as a couple for getting through them together. We are really great for each other and I couldn't be any happier. She is my forever.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Joy and Pain

Let's see now,where were we? Oh yes we got the rental car, said goodbye to Lisa and drove all our stuff and the three dogs to Oklahoma to pick up the RV that was given to us.
First off I burnt a huge hole in the back of the drivers seat when I flicked my cigarette out the window and it blew back in. Page was sleeping at the time and all I saw was smoke coming from the floor in back of me. I couldnt tell what was on fire so I threw my pepsi over my shoulder in hopes of putting it out and Page would be none the wiser. Well that didnt work! Darn it! I had to pull in the gas station to see what was happening and Paige woke up. Darn it! I also managed to burn her favorite pillow in the process. I felt horrible. I couldn't believe I could do something so stupid. Page took over driving and I managed to do the same exact thing while in the passenger seat and burnt her favorite blanket. That went over real well. Page forgave me thank goodness.
We arrived in Lawton, Oklahoma and met Kay, she was so nice and we are truly blessed to know her. Her kindness and generosity in giving us this RV is amazing. She gave us the tour of our new home and helped us unpack the rental car and load up the RV. We also got to sample some of the plum cider she makes it was delicious. Kay followed Page in her car to drop off the rental. I was so stressed out thinking about the cigarette burn and what that was going to cost us. Page worked a miracle and we didn't end up having to pay anything extra for the cigarette burn and because she filled the tank when we only needed to put three quarters of a tank in she got more money taken off the bill. We said our goodbyes to Kay and thanked her for everything she has done for us. We are so joyful to have a home and we owe it all to Kay.

We headed out into a severe hail storm and tornado warning and ended up parking under an underpass for protection. Well within a few minutes there was a deep river running down the side of the road by the entry door. Our toilet doesnt work and well Page had to pee bad. She was wearing a dress and when I walked back from the drivers seat I could hardly believe the sight. She was like a little spider monkey holding onto the entry door with her butt out over the raging river peeing in the wind. It was hysterical. I ran to get my camera but luckily for Page the battery was too low or I would have shared it with you all. We made it through the storm and Page made her way back into RV and we went to Lowe's for the night.

Uh oh. We ran into a glitch. Oklahoma does not issue any kind of temporary tag.  I even called the state police to ask what in the hell we are supposed to do to drive this and they couldn't offer any help or assistance. So away we went tagless.

We headed to Texas to go to my friends Zina's  house who refurbishes old trailers. Where we planned on staying and getting her expert advice on remodeling the interior. The inside  is completely stripped down. Unfortunately we also need a new refrigerator and a bed because my ass is killing me trying to sleep on the fold down couch. Oh yeah and our tires are 14 years old so they need replacing as well. We just hoped everything would hold together for the 6 hour drive and we could avoid being pulled over and have something horrible like the rv being impounded happen.

Well about half way there the power steering belt started screaming. I pulled over and while we were addressing that Page checked the transmission fluid which I neglected to do before we started and it was bone dry. Our good friend Teri called a friend of hers that was close by and she brought us tranny fluid. After much stress and turmoil we decided to push on to another friends house and hope the hell the belt would hold.

Our friend Mandy offered us some assistance and said her husband John was a mechanic and he would look at it if we could make it to their house. We parked for the night and arrived intact the following day.

Meeting Mandy and John and their family has been an amazing experience. This is what makes RVing so special when fate twists and you end up meeting the kind of people that restore your faith in humanity. We have been here in their yard for awhile now enjoying Southern hospitality at its finest. John is a great mechanic and a great cook, can we get any luckier?? John replaced all our belts and said he has no idea how we made it on that ratty belt. He also replaced our fan clutch. I never even heard of a fan clutch and our radiator overflow had a huge hole in the bottom so that was replaced as well. This family is something very special. They have three boys that are as amazing as their parents. I would like to take this time to help promote Mandy's business. She is an amazing seamstress. I've seen some of the clothing she makes and it's incredible. She does children's clothing adult clothing and home decor or any other thing you can think of she can make it. So please stop by her Facebook page and give it a like and her website is here Thenomadicseamstress.com

Facebook is www.facebook.com/thenomadicseamstress

Shoot can't remember how to make a link. It's the nomadic seamstress. I have faith you guys can find it on your own.


Yesterday while we were farting around trying to figure out how to get this RV registered we came back to the house and I let my dogs out without a leash.
My best friend in the whole world Skipper chased after a truck and got hit. It was the most horrifying thing I have ever experienced. I knew he is badly behaved and I knew better than to not have him on a leash. I failed my best friend. I grabbed him off the ground and Mandy rushed us to the vet.
Sadly, his hip is dislocated, the hide was ripped completely off of him and the joint by his hock was completely crushed. He was in bad shock when we got there and they tended to that. He did well through the night and is doing well today. The vet called and explained his injuries to me and the options. He said a specialist might be able to save his leg over at Texas A&M however he already has bad joint pain and arthritis and an amputation will take care of all his injuries. He is very concerned about infection setting in since the joint is open. I have come to the decision to amputate his rear leg so that he will recover and not have pain trying to rehab a leg that is really in bad shape, plus there are no guarantees that the leg can be saved and I don't want to put him through the agony of transporting him there.  He's 12 or 13 years old and I think a long rehab would be cruel. I am devastated that I let this happen. I was careless not to put him on his leash I know how stupid he gets when he sees trucks. Today I am working on trying to forgive myself and let go of all the horrible feelings I have towards myself. I have to believe in my heart that my dog will forgive me for being careless and he knows that I love him and would never cause him any intentional pain. Both my dogs came from puppy mills and have had a rough road with their health and now poor Skipper is going to lose a leg. It is extremely hard to deal with the guilt, but I am trying to let it go.

People have asked to help with a donation towards the vet bill. If you would like to help us my paypal is winkybok22@aol.com. I will humbly accept any donations with deep gratitude.

Thank you all for your continued support, kindness, and generosity. My little family really appreciates every single one of you. I am so blessed to have such great people in my life. Whether you are a blog reader, a facebook friend, or you know me in person, I love you all and I shall do my best to continue bringing some smiles to you from the road.
                                            Thank you.
                                             Paige

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The "Downtime" Blues


When you are living life on the road with a tight budget sooner or later downtime becomes a necessity. Most of the time it happens due to lack of funds. Whether it's because unexpected repairs cut into your wallet or you had a little too much fun at the beginning of the month and now you find yourself with little to no money. Or in our case no money and no RV. Congratulations you are about to experience downtime.
This is one of the most difficult times for the new RVer to deal with. You have been driving having a ball and seeing incredible places and now it's time to park the RV and sit. The waiting game can drive you stir crazy.
I have wanderlust and it gets very uncomfortable staying in the same place for an extended period. That is my biggest struggle. I like to move on to a new place after a few days. I want to see it all! This is where a little preparation can go a long way. Parking for two weeks at a free campsite or on BLM land is the way to go.  I can tell you from my experiences trying to stay for more than a day at a Walmart, rest area, or a truck stop is a real drag. Constantly worrying about moving or getting that knock on the door at 2am and being asked to leave can suck the life right out of you. Plus, you need to stay on the down low as much as possible. You see setting the kiddie pool up in the Walmart parking lot is just bad form.
A little planning can go a long way. I like freecampsites.net as a resource. Bandofboondockers.com has also been very helpful. You mind as well spend the next two weeks where you won't be hassled and enjoy yourself. There are plenty of free places that are really nice you just have to put some effort into finding them. I find two weeks of downtime in nature a beautiful thing and very easy to deal with. That's what most of us are doing anyway so camping is a cake walk.
putting it in perspective
Now things can be much more difficult parked on a slab of pavement with nothing to do. This is where you will be tested. It all comes down to gratitude for me. I am so grateful that I am living my life the way that is best for me and there aren't too many days that I don't wake up with a grin on my face. Hell let's be honest I have had a lot worse days in my life than hanging out in an RV sitting in a parking lot. I just have to drift back to those horrible times in my life and it really puts things in perspective. Pretty hard not to be grateful, I love life on the road and everything that it encompasses. I'm making memories and showing up each day. I know all situations in life are temporary ones and that is very important.
So here we are in Florida and living on my best friend's lanai. This is a whole new experience and a completely different downtime for us. We are in a brand new relationship and living at my best friends house, not exactly what I had envisioned for us. This is life on life's terms not mine once again.
We have it really good here all the comforts of home and getting to spend time with my best friend of 38 years has been pretty awesome. Page and Lisa are becoming great friends and doing all the girly things they like to do. They are decorating Lisa's house and her bedroom currently. I look over at them once in awhile and see a cloud of glitter and I just keep on walking. What a great thing to be a part of though my best friend and the love of my life coming together and enjoying each other and seeing for themselves what I love in both of them. Blessed.
Lisa and Page 
Ok so back to downtime. Extended downtime in Florida isn't too shabby. It sure beats the extended downtime in the brutal Oregon winter. We are fortunate to be stuck here for a bit.
Ive been trying to stay somewhat busy and see and do some things to get out of the house with Page and Lisa. We are fortunate that Lisa has a pool and also lives pretty close to the ocean. Page and I both love the beach so we have been having some nice days just hanging out and taking it all in. Page has settled in and is doing really good. This is a huge adjustment and she is just taking it as it comes. She has a great sense of humor and we laugh all the time. Downtime is really easy when you have great company.
My advice for dealing with downtime, no matter where you find yourself located, whether you are alone or with someone else, would be this.
First of all, remember that all situations are temporary. You will be up and moving again in no time.
tortoise I saved and put back under the fence 
 It's always a choice you can sit and be bored and miserable or you can not be that. It's simply up to you. I think your mindset is critical to enjoying your life. If you are cranky living in your house then most likely you are going to be cranky on the road and definitely cranky with downtime. I like to find the laughs because laughter is everywhere. I laugh everyday and it feels great.
 In my opinion, the key to a happy life is gratitude. I wake up grateful for the life I have and grateful that I am present in it. It's really that simple but it was a long, long, journey getting to this point. 
Baby taking her final bow at sunset
Gratitude isn't something you can create very easily. I find you know it when you have it. I thought I was grateful in my younger years but I really didn't have a clue as to what that meant or how it felt. For me it came from years and years of struggling and now I am not in that place anymore. So it is very simple for me. I am no longer there and that is all that it takes for a smile to come to my face. I don't need anything else in my life. I am truly happy wherever I am.




Paige
      happy in the backseat of the car



Page chillin'
Covert operations
Lisa and Page saving fish at the dock








Rogue peacock